Last night was the most difficult yet for us; I felt feverish, disconnected, angry, scared and helpless. A month ago I was fit, active and working hard, now my body is getting increasingly decrepit, I’m tired, I’ve had an infuser strapped to me for 6 days pumping toxins into me, I’ve got the prospect of 2 more months of increasing pain, discomfort, any number of ‘side effects’ and will not start recovering until about mid-January. Then will have to wait until mid-February for results.
It’s made worse because it upsets Kate even more, she is brilliant and wants to do more but she can’t. Keep positive is the mantra we often hear, advise others, tell ourselves and on the surface seems eminently sensible. I’ve long used and advocated the ‘positive approach’ in my teaching but in reflective times I’ve realised that it’s too simplistic, that it denies other stuff (would that be the ying or the yang Jo?). It also, somewhat dangerously, puts the onus on the individual to ‘be positive’ and therefore depress the negative. Trouble is there is no positive without negative. The onus is compounded and conflated with ‘the battle’, we have to be positive otherwise we are the simple corollary of being negative, and if we’re negative we’ll lose the battle and it will be our fault because we’re negative.
When we are ‘positive’, putting on our brave face, giving the finger to life’s vicissitudes there is an element of performing for the audience. Part of the reason we do it is because we know we’ll get a ‘positive response’ from others, the old positive feedback loop, good old behaviourism. We also know at some level that it’s easier for others to deal with because we know it’s hard dealing with pain, misery and death.
Maybe Russell Brand is an MI5 stooge.
Outside it’s lovely and sunny, I want to go for a walk but have to wait in for a nurse to disconnect my infuser and redress the PICC line. They are unable, or perhaps unwilling, to give me any idea of what part of the day they might arrive. I should be grateful, at least I can see the blue sky and it’s not just darkness.
Have this very moment thought, actually this is not true as the thought happened a very short while ago and it took time to process and commit to writing, I am going to give you lucky folk one item from my manifesto for improving the common good.
- Abolish private schools.
So, from now on I’ll add one a day and whenever this bleedin’ blog finishes I’ll look back and think………………
Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.