Saturday, November 21, 2009

Quote It Saturday 11/21

I've borrowed a weekly feature from my book blog, where I share quotes from favorite books that spoke to me, as someone living with chronic illness.

This week's three quotes are from the novel The Tenth Circle by one of my favorite novelists, Jodi Picoult. The Tenth Circle uses parallels with Dante's The Inferno to help tell the story of a teen girl who encounters a terrible situation. These quotes are from the girl's mother, and her thoughts on dealing with her challenges and sorrow are remarkably appropriate to those of us living with chronic illness:

God, according to Dante, was all about motion and energy, so the ultimate punishment for Lucifer is to not be able to move at all. At the very bottom of hell, there's no fire, no brimstone, just the utter inability to take action.

...That weekend, Laura learned that there are no cosmic referees. Time-outs do not get called, not even when your world has taken a blow that renders you senseless. The dishwasher still needs to be emptied and the hamper overflows with dirty clothes and the high school buddy you haven't spoken to in six months calls to catch up, not realizing that you cannot tell her what's been going on in your life without breaking down.

...It was a catch-22: If you didn't put the trauma behind you, you couldn't move on. But if you did put the trauma behind you, you willingly gave up your claim to the person you were before it happened.

- The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult


She really hits the mark, doesn't she? I could relate strongly to all three of these quotes.

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

6 comments:

  1. That last paragraph really speaks to me. If you grieve and move on, it feels like a betrayal of the person, or part of oneself that you are grieving for.

    I realise I have a great deal of difficulty moving on from who I was before my illness.

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  2. Yes, Jo, me, too!

    Similarly, when I first got sick, I felt like resting was "giving in" and giving up on myself. It wasn't until I was diagnosed and began to understand the post-exertional crashes that I understood that the only way to stay true to myself and hang onto who I am/was is to stay within my limits and listen to my body. It still feels like a paradox.

    Sue

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  3. For me grief over my illnesses is ongoing and seems to come often ~every crash, every holiday spent in isolation, etc.
    There are parts of me I have willingly given up and other parts I want back so badly. But I don't want to get stuck in my grief either. And I want to enjoy the here and now. There definitely are no time outs...life and time keeps marching forward. I remember Joel telling me that when his father died (he was 16) he wanted to tell the world to STOP. How could it keep going when everything had fallen apart for him and his family...but it does keep going doesn't it.
    Much to think about for me in these quotes.
    Thanks Sue.

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  4. Renee -

    As always, so insightful and well-put. Yes, it is an on-going process, isn't it? For me, it's gotten easier as the years have gone on, but I'm not dealing with the same level of disability as you and many others. Even so, unexpected crashes (like today?) can still bring the grief crashing back. Thanks for sharing your thoughts -

    Sue

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  5. Sue, this post has kicked off something for me. Not quite sure what yet but blogging about it will help. May I link to this on my blog?

    cheers m'dears.

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  6. Of course you can link back, Jo - no problem! Hope you work through what's bothering you...writing does help.

    Sue

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