Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Back in the spring, back before I tried sailing and failed, back before I went across country and returned only to discover that I had a blood clot in my left leg and road trips were now curtailed, back before the warmth of the summer and the return of winter, I wrote a blog entry about being angry. As I wrote it, I re-read it several times. It was raw, the anger visceral and real. It was harsh even to my ears, so accustomed to the harshness of my inner dialog when it comes to thinking about where my life has brought me.

The words were knife sharp, difficult, so difficult that I decided not to post it, but to save it for some future day when perhaps I would feel that anger in such a way as to be comfortable with making it public. I wanted to save the thoughts yet not expose them, to have this entry in reserve, perhaps for a day when this disease stole another thing from me.

But a funny thing has happened since then, an expected turn of events. Even though I have faced, and continue to face, losses and set backs; even though I have gone through pain and difficulty and the daily torture of this disease, I have not yet felt that anger come back to me. Even though I am certainly frustrated and struck deeply with a melancholic sense of what I no longer have or can do, I no longer feel that deep raging anger.

It's not that I have no reason for anger. After all, I can no longer get up out of my wheelchair without a lift bar; my legs have lost all their lifting strength. At times, even though I am told my upper body is normal, my arms lack the strength to pull me upwards unless everything is in the right place. My standing is machine dependent, it makes me angry when I try and fail. I know that this will progress into complete disability as time marches on. I can lay claim to anger.

It could have happened this morning. I was trying to stand up after using the toilet, trying to adjust my underwear the way normal men do, trying to do what I know will soon certainly become completely impossible. I failed. Yet when I failed I did not feel angry, I did not rage at the loss or scream at the unfairness. I simply did not have those feelings in me. It's just another day; it's just another thing.

I do not doubt that there will be days when that anger returns. But I have decided to delete that angry post, that raging blog entry. The anger is no longer in me. In the same way, and perhaps for the same reasons, defeat is neither in me as well. When this disease started, I could feel the anger and defeat as real as the floor below me when I fell, as real as the pain in my arms from lifting my now ever increasing bulk. When this disease started, I was just damned good and mad.

Now, not so much. Perhaps the anger will return, perhaps not. But for today, just for today, I am going to enjoy not feeling angry. It's a calm feeling, a good feeling.

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