author / blogger


Pillow Talk

Life with chronic illness is a roller-coaster. Not exactly a ground-breaking new thought on the subject I'm sure you'll agree, but sometimes the old ones are the best, as I told my ageing lover on his latest birthday. 

Recently, after a prolonged period of severe illness I found myself on more than one occasion pondering my death. Mainly through desperation; pain becoming unbearable, being unable to see any solution, dazed from malnutrition and pain relief. Desperation and weakness took over and i just didn't have the capacity to keep fighting. I considered at one point squeezing my pillow over my head to try and end it all, I even mustered up the energy to lift said pillow, but after placing it over my head and finding I was still as weak as a kitten and squeezing anything other than a rogue pimple was well outwith my bodies remit, the ridiculousness of the situation soon took over and brought me back to my senses. I lay there with a pillow on my face crying, before promptly removing it through redfaced shame. 

It's funny because although I can see how humorous an image a woman attempting to end her life by smothering without actually lifting her arms may be, in no way do I think absent mindedly pondering suicide is a laughing matter; it's horrific. I don't either consider my having had these thoughts to be funny; I find it all pretty terrifying to be honest. I don't want to die, so why did I almost give up?

When you live with constant pain the mind can often become unreliable. This fact alone is a cause of massive frustration for me as it's often the only part of 'me' I feel I have any control over. My diseased carcass fails again and again yet my mind is strong enough to push through it. Or at least it should be. 

I suppose I should give more credence to the fact that the mind and body are intrinsically linked and not two separate entities trying to outwit one another. But it often feels like a competition and my body is SUCH a loser that my mind must get fed up even signing up to play. 

After the pillow incident, (I avoid using 'Pillow-Gate, because it sounds too much like a soft-porn set on a farm), I didn't make any more moves in ending my life. I didn't tell anyone either because it's embarrassing and pitiful. I was weak, physically and mentally and that just won't do. On this occasion my mind got the better of me but thankfully my useless body eliminated any chance of me being able to carry out any heinous acts. So 1 - Nil to my carcass this time. SUCK IT BRAIN. In a cruel twist of fate akin to a Criminal Minds plot my lust for death was thwarted by my own disability. 

Body and mind are often in battle with an ongoing illness so its important we try to find some semblance of balance where we can, even at our lowest ebb. I'm going to buy some new pillows now with soft as air duck feathers because if I do ever consider smothering myself to death again at least it'll be a massive duck you to my stupid brain. 


Kathleen NichollsComment