"It is only when you fully understand that you will definitely lose the battle that you really begin to learn how to fight" - Kanjin Tor
Somebody asked me very recently "Had I thought about suicide because of my illness?"
It was a good question - if somewhat tactless.
As some of you may be aware I served in the British Army as a front-line combat soldier for close to 12 years. I did some extraordinary things, in some extraordinary circumstances, and back then I thought I had learned everything a man needs to know about fighting, how to stand, how to face death?
I was wrong!
About 12 years ago now, my body always once so reliable and super strong, with an excessive amount of almost boundless energy, suddenly began to fail me; and by fail me I mean 'getting out of bed was at times almost an impossible effort'.
It was quite shocking for me in many ways, but I of course thought back then that I would soon recover and bounce back, and still being in my early 40's I had no reason then, to suppose otherwise?
Now 12 years later I know better. I always say laughingly that I used to be built like a Greek God, now I am built like a Greek Dog. It's the same letters but rearranged much like my own diminished physical form.
Alas poor Yorik I knew him well...?
But as bad as the physical illness is - and it really is a fucking mess, it is the way it effects my brain and the overwhelming exhaustion which is the greatest calamity to me personally.
Having a 12 year headache is one thing but to have a brain which was once so sharp flounder about because it cannot quite get its shit together as it wanders off in a hazy fog like state, is quite another.
The loss of cognitive function is brutal Ladies and Gentlemen. The foggy disassociation my brain goes through on bad days is truly awful, and only a fellow fibro sufferer [or similarly disabled person] can understand this aspect of my illness, because to you people, to you fit healthy folks out there looking in at me, I look normal. My illness is utterly invisible and, [if the Tories had their way] ergo many of you - too many of you - assume that my illness cannot possibly be real.
Indeed I have witnessed many such defamations against the character of fibromyalgia sufferers over the last 12 years that it seems almost a common place event. Fortunately I, unlike so many other fibro sufferers, have a ready answer to this kind of rancid attitude goes like this - "Fuck you cunt mouth, I have shit harder things than you, so bring it."
Hey I was a warrior, what do you expect 'Shakespeare?'
But it does make me think at times why I bother. I sit here looking out of my window at the world sometimes, wondering just why I fucking bother to fight on in a world populated by mewling cowards who refuse to stand against the perfidy of our rulers but will attack disabled people?
I wonder why I bother continuing to fight for my Country by telling the 'absolute truth' when so many mewling, pathetic, civilian puss buckets would prefer to vote for known criminals because these repugnant Neo-Cons feed their secret racism and cowardice? Why I bother fighting on for a country which has fallen so low that it would accept a government attacking disabled people, but then I remember that this illness of mine has been a blessing in disguise.
You see I thought I knew how to fight back in my older days. Long ago when I was a Soldier I thought I knew what battle was, I thought I knew how to struggle against enemies - unseen and known - but boy was I wrong.
My illness has taught me that.
It has taught me that - 'It is only when we as individuals fully understand that we will definitely lose the battle that we are in, that we really begin to learn to fight'.
In fact winning the fight almost becomes a meaningless phrase when you understand this. It is a mirage, a fantasy, an illusion. Because no matter how hard you or I might fight, there will always be another personal challenge to face, or another rancid ideology to struggle against.
The Truth is that there will ALWAYS be another brute to challenge, another 'Government Lackey' who enjoys inflicting pain and misery on the vulnerable whom we must challenge. There will always be another COWARD who would rather close his mind and heart and vote for known criminals rather than stand with their fellow citizens against their tyranny because of some pathetic personal fearfulness, centred around the unknown or change, or simple mean-spiritedness?
My life-long illness which is [frankly] causing me to deteriorate may indeed be a personal challenge, but it has also been a colossal blessing.
Fibromyalgia has taught me compassion, mercy, kindness, sharing, true courage, and it has taught me how to really fight. I have not feared death for many a long year ladies and Gentlemen, but it is only now, now as my body fails me more and more, that I look out at the world and the future the scum in power are handing down to our children that I think - 'you know what, fuck them, the future is worth fighting for' as I rally once more.
Eventually I suppose - my illness will kill me. The strain on the body that Fibromyalgia imposes upon me will give me an heart attack or some such shit, but fuck it - that is for the future and right now there is a battle to fight.