001. a hundred million reasons

It’s evening on a Sunday in mid-autumn. I’ve been in bed or the recliner since I woke up this morning, apart from a brief interlude in my upstairs library that seemed to burn through all of the energy my body allocated to today’s activities.

My tuxedo cat lays in bed next to me, his back curled against the stack of books I foolishly believed I could read through my brain fog. Pillows prop my arms up, attempt to alleviate the burning sensation in my joints. I could go to sleep now and not wake for 12 hours and probably still feel tired.

I have just finished Jennifer Brea’s stunning documentary Unrest, which offers raw insight to suffering experienced by those with ME/CFS specifically and chronic illness generally. Our illnesses are different but some of the consequences are the same, and Brea expressed her struggles and fears more beautifully than I ever could.

Now, Gaga’s Joanne drowns out the whir of the ceiling fan. I might never have listened to this album had it not been for her Netflix documentary, which tore me to shreds yesterday. Does this make me a Monster?

Over the last hour or so, I have tried to start working on a new project, and it’s like the words are scrambled in my skull. I know they are there, but I can’t pin them down, their arrangement nonsensically tangled in thoughts about climate change and my least favourite season of Parks & Rec and a recent uptick of acid reflux that has made it difficult to sleep and the implications of WWE’s planned Saudi show and whether I’ll ever be able to write another novel and if I will, when. There is no net that can weed my stories from the garbage that is piling in my brain, discards of the too much, too fast existence I have lived for more than twenty-nine years.

Pain swells in my limbs, but this is familiar, nothing more than ordinary weekend ache after a busy few days.

I had hoped in writing this, I would make some sense of what I want to say. Instead, I feel as if every word I type is the wrong one, ill-fitting, too vague. I know that sometimes writing/creating is just like this sometimes – stumbling and frustrating, a sudden labyrinth imposed on what was once a clear path. Someday, hopefully soon, I’ll emerge victorious from the quagmire and find my foothold in this story. For now, I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away from this project and just let myself be, however quietly, however wordlessly.


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