Here’s a post on the post-phd world I wrote for phd2published.com:
One of the things that happens when a nasty, incurable, unsuspected disease pop up its ugly little head is that you become super-sensitive. It’s a little like the syndrome which makes you look at the ads for the car you just bought so that you might convince yourself that you were right, after all.
With something like parkinson’s, there is a movement from the point of diagnosis. The symptoms from which you suffered suddenly become directed, comprehendable, permanent. No longer are they funny little things that just kinda happened, maybe because you were just getting old, maybe because you drank too much on Thursday, maybe because you did something too much, like playing the guitar too much, and just fucked your hand.
What happens is that suddenly it’s a thing. It’s a fucking thing that’s doing things to you. It’s a thing. An actual thing.
It’s not that it sits there, stroking its white cat as it explains how it’s going to make you suffer as it switches off your life support systems one-by-one … ‘sooon you will type with only one hand, Doctorr Langman, yes indeed. That word’s a bugger, eh?’ No. Sadly. It would be so much easier if it were … a real active thing that you could fuck right up, hurling hubris right up its miserable ass.
What happened, however, is that a little part of my brain fucked up. ‘We are delighted to inform you of the results of your DAT scan.’ Delighted? Wankers …
So, impaired dopamine uptake, download, whatever.
Anyway, I have an actual thing, so anytime I hear of anyone else sharing my thing, I am all ears. I don’t search it out, but it comes to me. Sometimes the things which find me out are interesting, while some things are anything but.
I stumbled into a website today, whose author ‘believes in the body’s natural ability to heal itself.’ and he has a PhD. So he has some authority, right?
Yes, the body is s self-healing organism, though as yet it has failed to work out how to re-grow limbs, how to recover from having major organs removed … how to regenerate the basal ganglia. Bugger.
But what really interested me was that the ‘about me’ section mentioned the author’s PhD, but not what it was in. Obviously a medic, right? Or possibly Human Relations and resource Management.
I had to do some work to find that out.
The fact is, the author is wilfully misrepresenting.
The disease wilfully misrepresents. It misrepresents you. It makes you something that you’re not, that you weren’t. There’s a sort of obsession, a mutually supporting way of life. You suffer from it, it allows you to broadcast it to the world. To tell everyone.
I know I’m doing it now …
But we enter into a relationship with our (you see, I was about to write that insidious word, ‘condition’) disease. It becomes part of us. It’s a parasitic relationship, and yet a saprophytic one simultaneously. It becomes part of our very identity.
And it does so by right royally fucking us up.
The very definition of an abusive relationship. One which one simply cannot leave. And so one which one must embrace. Because what does not kill us makes us stronger. And we all know that there are two ways to survive in a dangerous situation. The first is to escape, run. If one cannot run, one must embrace the attacker, because otherwise they get room to swing.
PD, no matter what that PhD says, cannot be outrun. If you try to keep your distance, you have no control. You must embrace it. That way you might just be able to exercise some sort of control. Some.
But the fight is one you will lose. You may just be able to decide when, however. Under what conditions. With what outcome.
It’s counter-intuitive, perhaps, but when someone or something imposes themselves on you, they bless you with the gift of choice. The evil genius gives with one hand as they take with the other. They are the bastards who give you life.