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[personal profile] quirkytizzy
Yesterday, I asked Jesse if he's seen anything positive about me come out of the last year. I'd been pondering the question for about a day on my own and could only come up with one positive: I am now more aware of my body, and aware of its mortality. Choice, chance, and consequence - these are things I consider with far more weight than ever before.

But beyond that, I couldn't think of a single positive thing that had developed out of the last year. I am not the same person as I was before the lupus diagnosis. In fact, it seems most of the changes have been negative. I am emotionally far more closed off than I used to be. I am slower to laugh. I am much more somber. Socially, I have gone from introverted to sheer, willful, isolation.

Where is the strength that this kind of adversity is supposed to give you? Where is the renewed zest and zeal for life? Where is the wisdom that great trauma is supposed to give you? Where is the peace that coming to accept grief is supposed to give you? Where is it all, and why don't I see it yet in my life?

I'm guessing that I don't see it because it isn't there yet. Yes, there is a peace, a calm, right now - but that's only in absence of crisis, NOT because of the crisis.

Jesse said something rather profound in response to all this. He said that these things don't come naturally or automatically out of trauma - they must be cultivated. There must be action, reflection, something that one DOES with the experience in order to gain benefit. Just sitting there, stuck in neutral, will not make a person wise. Elsewise, trauma does what trauma does, and that's just grind people down until they are unrecognizable stubs of themselves.

I want to make all of this count. I want to make it all worth something. I gained wisdom through other traumas by writing about it all, by sharing it all, by incorporating the lessons learned into further human interactions. And as Jesse said, it is really only now that I've got the space to start doing all of this.

So I'm trying something that is actively doing something. I'm going to try and write something publishable about the last year with lupus. I'm doing it slowly - a page a day. With lupus, one needs to pace themselves in their physical activity. I now see that writing can be like that, too. Like Natalie Goldberg says, if you do that every day for a year, you've got a novel. I don't know if I have a year's worth of things to say about lupus, but goddamnit, writing is pretty much the only thing I have to offer.

It's the way I've found strength before and it's a way I can continue to build strength. Besides, I'd like to (1) get back to writing and (2) make the decades of practice of writing useful. It'd be a shame to let it slip away now.

It's also...harder than I thought. The page I have suuuuucks. There's no flair, no style, hell, hardly even substance. I have no idea how to write something that isn't a journal entry. But I know this is how one learns to write different things....by actually writing different things.

So expect plenty of bitching while I clumsily trudge through writing something in a form that's completely foreign to me.

Curiously, as I opened up an old document to erase and begin the draft of this new work, I found this quote of mine. "It makes me wonder if we, as both humans and writers, are nothing but a ceaseless process of revision. The final edit does not arrive until the day we die."

I'm not sure when I wrote that, but it seems appropriate.


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