People ask me what meaning I can find in my illness, as though reason has space and a voice in this self-destructive flourish I wear everyday.
When a wound does not heal, when it exists beyond our limited visual and measurable scope, we collectively offer suggestions to reshape the experience of illness.
Because what else is left for you to do?
Conversation devolves into vapid cultural catchalls of practicing gratitude, finding deeper meanings, and discovering your true purpose. From an elevated attitude of compassion and understanding people slip into a less advanced, simplified state, as though we really believe everything happens for a reason.
Illness has no reason. No greater plan. No finer purpose. And sometimes, if you're particularly unfortunate, illness has no real cause, no identifiable start, no end.
Your doctor will look at you and tell you that you have Infectious mononucleosis and symptomatic cytomegalovirus again. When they say it you will wonder how you missed the intimately familiar feeling of these additional illnesses and wonder how to you missed the obvious. How you did not feel your raw throat getting worse and immediately leap to your most familiar foes? You don't wonder long because you're too tired to think. Your doctor will advise rest with a wince, as they know how well you are versed in limitations and sleep. You have days where your whole life feels like nothing but limitations and sleep, but only because it is.
Piano is a solace, though recently even that has seemed too much energy. Still, when I sit and fumble through my scales, I feel at peace. And that, while once in abundance, is a rare treasure now.