Friday, August 22, 2014

Eat Pain to Survive in Style

I have neglected writing to avoid being a curmudgeon. Grumps can be comic relief, but fade, all too quickly, into social irritants. No on tries consciously to be boring. We don't choose to be ill-tempered, a no-fun dullard stick-in-the-mud. It raises from within, compounded by miss-matched mood swings, shattering our attempts to charm.

When your body aches in a sink hole of symptoms, while the mind struggles with depression, being inspirational is near impossible. Perhaps this is why the seriously sick stay home, not wanting to bore others with their menagerie of discomforts.  The dis-ease of disease can be contagious, and no one wants to bum-out their friends.

Facebook is one tool, though tricky-to-handle, for the self-imposed shut-in. Without cheerful adventures 'in the real world', on wind-swept beaches, with happy hoping pets, and smiling group photos with dear friends, our communique disintegrates into the darker-side of networking. Our Facebooking quickly gravitates to clinging to cliche of expression, the down-side of social discourse. Gaza, Ebola, and comedian suicides start to overshadow holiday highs.

So, to distance myself from my own disturbing chemistry, I retreat into sitcom reruns and search the back-roads of mental discourse, revitalising happy thoughts. I try and find the essence of all this funny business in staying alive. I lurk in Skype communicating with my children and friends, eat luxuriously decadent treats, and elaborate on fantasies that no longer have a chance to manifest.

I understand factually, in actuality, my body will never again be as healthy as today, certainly never younger, nor my opportunities as great. I know, well meaning truisms, platitudes of Pollyannaism, actually bring me down. What the hell, being ill and happy is the preverbal square peg in the a-hole.

Praying works, statistics tell us, if one is lucky enough to re-program logic into a loop of optimistic poppycock. If prayer works, good for you... if not, God help all the uncompromising atheist with Parkinson. This is not to say I would not love to be saved. But miracle cures, for our major diseases, do not grow on trees.

The Zen of it is, being 'saved' is living the jive I am. If there is pain, be pain-full, and just try and spare my social companions, with a bit of yogic exercise, simulated smiles. Give my friends a brake by baring down, biting the bullet, and being the clown. Being cheerful in my youth was as natural as spring. Now happy requires rehearsal time, and a whole lotta grit.

I need to learn to dance on many levels and ignore the smells of convalescence. Be kind by not complaining too much. Even smile my rye twisted grin, till true happiness comes home again, until cool and tempered brings social grace back to the mix.

Keep trying to be one with my Parkinson yet fun to hang with. The same way Muhammad Ali now does magic tricks to charm his guests, long after losing his voice and physical stature. To float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, a last stance at dignity. A cheerful hero in the cause of survival.