Monday, 12 January 2015

I Quit; But I Can't

I quit.

No, this is not a peremptory statement on suicide. No, I am not taking the pills today. No, I am not going to wheel myself into the middle of traffic and hope for a hit. This is just me saying that I am really fucking tired of this ride. I've had enough. I give up. ALS, you win.

I'm really tired of being the hero. I'm really tired of being the inspiration, the warrior, the one that takes everyone to the promised land. I'm just not that guy. I am not the one that people should look up to, nor the one that people should seek to find solace from. I am not the man with any great wisdom; I'm just a schmuck who happened to get a miserable, shitty, horrible, nasty disease for which there is no cure.

Think about those who came before me; not those with ALS but those with other "terminal illnesses" about a hundred years ago. Did you know why Doc Holliday didn't give a fuck at the OK Corral? It's because he had consumption. That's what they called TB or cancer or just about everything else about 150 years back. He knew, as I know, that going out with a bang beats the hell out of going out with a whimper.

Unfortunately Doc Holliday and I share the same fate; we are destined to survive the bullets, ultimately to end up expiring ignominiously in a chair somewhere barely noticed by history in our passing. We, both the Doc and I, are irrelevant in our expiry. Our relevance, his and mine, is only in our living, not in our dying.

I am not much for quitting; it is not in my nature. It's just that I am fed up with fighting. I really don't want this daily slog, this trench warfare the only parallel of which I can find in my grandfather's journal of the First World War. The difference between he and I is simply this; each day as he fought his way through the trenches of western France, he hoped and prayed he would return once again to the sainted soil of his home. As I fight this perpetual slog, I know that there is nothing at the end but defeat in body.

The only thing I have left is my spirit, my mind. Okay, I quit with my body. My mind, other the other hand, refuses to surrender. That is all I have remaining. I quit, but I can't. This is so fucking stupid.


  1. Don't quit, this isn't stupid. This is what we do to cope, and get through our day. I don't have ALS but I am a paraplegic. I understand your pain. Keep it up!