Saturday, August 26, 2006

no friend of mine


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I've been wanting to read Joan Didion's essay In Bed about life with chronic migraines, so on my post-work trip to the library tonight I checked out The White Album, a collection of her essays.

Didion's gift with language is evident in this work. I am in awe of her ability to piece together such an accurate depiction of what life is like with chronic migraines, both in the ways it affects us and the ways we mistreat ourselves as though we choose to have the disease. We are far too willing to accept the views of uninformed outsiders and their impressions of whether we are truly ill or simply lazy malingerers.

Just one criticism, though. At the end of the essay, she states that she has made peace with the migraine and considers it a friend. I don't know about the rest of you, but migraine disease hardly leaves me time for my closest, lifelong friends. I'd never willingly keep a "friend" who treats me this utterly shitty.

The essay may be out there on the web somewhere, but (to my knowledge) not in any form that complies with applicable copyright law. Out of respect for Didion, I'm choosing not to provide such a link for my readers, though you can probably easily Google it yourself and find it.

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