Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

“Are you in a relationship?”

Finally she asked the question that I was so eager to avoid in our conversations. My main goal was and is offering moral support to a gifted and promising young writer, who lost her sight due to an illness. Such a major change in anyone’s life is bound to trigger the five stages of processing grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (a.k.a. DABDA). Moral support may then be welcome and it was and still is.

Late 2016, I discovered her blog. I cannot even remember how. Perhaps, it was bycatch in a Google search result. I was very impressed by her writing skills, and encouraged her through my comments. We have never met and may never meet because she lives on a different continent.

I assume that she has arrived in the 5th and final stage: acceptance. Nevertheless, the five stages of grief may show relapses in between these stages. Sometimes, it feels like the edges of a saw: either you glide forwards or backwards from one of these edges. Some people will never arrive at stage five.

Not losing hope is probably the most challenging aspect in these 5 stages of grief. Hence, my moral support. Without hope, you will fall deep into the black hole in your mind – a.k.a. the dark side. Once you’re in too deep, there appears to be only one way “out”. In 2013, I was heading for that exit but I survived – with help. Hence, my moral support to her now.

In stage four (ie, depression) you will lose friends and acquaintances. Actually, it’s worse as you will notice that many – if not most – friends were merely acquaintances. People may be feeling good about themselves by helping a drowning person in the water, but “it’s a long way there” in case of psychological drowning. Perhaps, people are afraid that these problems might contaminate them, or – in her words – are a “bad omen“.

Without moral support from friends, it’s easier to lose hope. Hence, I feel a moral obligation to help her; if only because I’m a survivor myself. Moreover, the world needs to experience her talent for writing beautiful stories. Obviously, there’s a catch because I like her, as a writer and as a woman.

The flipside of offering my moral support is that I’m creating a so-called Doctor-Patient relationship, which “is built on trust, respect, communication, and a common understanding []”. Hence, I need to take some distance. She has already been asking me several questions about me being uncomfortable in our communication.

The Little River Band song below “came” to me while I was writing. It’s providing various perspectives. Initially, the song felt as if it was about her long journey towards recovery, if any. Then, I realised that this song may also be about my journey to wherever I’m going. A fascinating development.

It’s a Long Way There (1975) by Little River Band
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

People on their own are getting nowhere
I’m on the road to see
If anything is anywhere or waiting, just for me

And it’s a long way there
It’s a long way to where I’m going

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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