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This is the product of a 15 minute speedwrite.

Life sifts through just as it always has. Every morning you wake up to the same life youíve always had, but the truth of the matter is that it was once different. You werenít always like this. For better or for worse, life has changed you, or youíve changed life.

You were a kid once, young, naïve. Donít try to deny it. It doesnít matter what youíve gone through: at one point in time you were young and naïve. I guess it makes sense to ask exactly what happened to change you. Why did you insist on changing? What, really, was so bad about being young and naïve?

"With great power comes great responsibility." Did you really want more power in your life, or did you just not know how much harder it would be? Did you really want to make your mistakes and learn from your own bad choices? Of course you did. Everyone wants to make their own choices and their own mistakes. I did, too.

But people grow up at different speeds. Some people hit 30 at age 9, others at age 60. It all depends on who you are, what life hits you with, and how you choose to react to it all.

The question, of course, is: is there a point to this? Really no matter how much freedom you supposedly have or how many choices are supposedly yours to make, you really canít control anything. You canít even control your own body, your own emotions. You can make yourself think youíve got everything under control, but itís all a lie. Youíve never had any control. Itís just that, when you were a kid, you werenít under any delusions about having control over yourself. You didnít know anything, least of all how to control your emotions.

Growing up isnít about learning how to control yourself. Itís about learning how to delude yourself into thinking that you have the ability to control yourself. Look inside you and see if thereís any part of your body you can control. Sure, you can make muscles move to do things like walking, but what about the really long car ride when you suddenly feel the urge to pee and you really donít want to stop but you have to? What happened to the control there? Maybe youíll argue that being able to wait is a form of control, and maybe Iíll grant you that. But real control would be being able to choose when the urge to pee would come and when it wouldnít.

Now the question is: would you want that kind of control? Without some automation, could you ever get anything done? But, of course, the possibilities are endless. Say if you had a chronic diseaseÖ say arthritis. And letís say you had complete control over your body, down to the very last white cell. You could, theoretically, stop it.

It's all about control. You hear talk about "controlling a disease" when, really, a disease is nothing without a body to inhabit. What they really mean is ďcontrolling the bodyĒ. And thatís just, well, not really possible. Itís why arthritis fundamentally canít be cured. You canít control the body, and, no matter what you want to believe, the body IS the problem here. Maybe something else created the problem, but that something else —whether it be viral, bacterial, or whatever — is long gone now. Whatís left is your body, plain and simple. A body that you, no matter what you want to believe, have no control over.

You can take medication every day for the rest of your life. You can go to physical and occupational therapy a few times every week. All you are doing is trying to control something you cannot fundamentally control. The medication will work for a while. The therapy will help remind your body that movement is a good thing. But, in time, these tricks won't work. Even though your body is too stupid to realize that joints arenít something it should be attacking, somehow itís smart enough to realize that this medication is just a trick. In time, the medicine stops working, and you have to search for another way to trick your body.

But you don't want to trick it. You want to control it, and that is why, day after day, you delude yourself into thinking your arthritis is controlled because it's in remission. That is why when it comes back every time it is so devastating. It's all a reminder to you that you are not in control, and that you never were.

Accept that, and don't give up. Just because your body is confused doesn't mean you have to let it stay that way. Keep taking your medication and keep doing your therapy. But realize that you are not in control. And because you are not in control, take every good day as a gift, and every bad day as just a bad day. Stop making bad days into guilt trips and punishments. Stop making good days into grandiose displays of your perceived control.

It's hard to accept that you have no control over your body. It's scary and it makes you feel powerless. But lacking total control doesnít mean you have no power over your body. You know how it likes to be treated, and you know what it doesn't like. You may not know how to control it, but you know it, inside and out. It's your body, and, really, where on earth would you be without it?

© Tatiana Hamboyan Harrison