The most pervasive comment I get is that my noticeably sunny disposition and optimism is unusual, unexpected and out of place. I find it next to impossible to explain that firstly, I may appear to be something I am not. I am more likely to implode than explode. It seems horribly unfair to share the misery with unsuspecting strangers. I do my fair share of sharing at home where I cannot hide from it all the time and that’s already spilling over other areas of life more than I am comfortable with. It’s mean and cruel to drag others down with you if you’re ship is sinking and they’re is just fine. People may think that they’re throwing out a rope, but they’re really entangling their anchor with a sinking ship and soon enough, their ship is sinking too.
Secondly, one cannot be happy and unhappy at the same time and I tend to prefer sunny optimism over neurotic pessimism. Nobody likes to be around neurotic, depressed and chronically complaining people, least of all me. Since I am always present whatever mood I’m in, I’d rather be focusing on the pleasure instead of the pain. The moment I allow myself to really think about everything I cannot do, everything that’s wrong and everything that I’m missing out on, I sink into a deep and dark depression filled with loneliness and pain and guilt and all those kinds of unpleasant emotions. It’s all in the attitude and I refuse to be a downer.
If the choice is picking up a book instead of slapping on a fentanyl patch, the book better be truly unputdownable. The advantage of distraction through escape into a fantasy world is that there is no side-effects, no tolerance that can be built up and nobody to convince that yes, you are in excruciating pain and should be given access to something stronger than paracetamol. (I’ve always found it ironic that the vast majority of doctors grossly undertreat neurological pain because it’s invisible, but are more than happy to provide copious pain medication for dislocations that in my case, are much less painful, but that’s another blog altogether).
I’m not picky about subject matter or genre. I’m on of those weird people that find most things interesting. I’ve been known to immerse myself in a statistics textbook whilst relocating a particularly badly dislocating knee with a particularly badly dislocated hand. Interesting stuff, numbers.
There should be a bit on books and reading here. If sometimes all you can do is lie as a bundle of pain in a quiet dark room with the soft whisper of an audio book in your ear, books are important. Vital. It’s a crutch and an enabler (in a good sense). It opens doors that otherwise would remain shut and provide an escape from the abyss that are always tempting you to look down. My philosopy is asa follows. By all means pick up a copy of ‘Beyond good and evil‘, but don’t gaze into the abyss.