Lifestyles: Mind Over Matter
my mind should never deteriorate or fail to work properly
'I was diagnosed at the age of eleven with Friedreichs Ataxia'.
I once knew
a boy called Harry, four years my junior who had mental disabilities
that hadnt been quite diagnosed. He was basically exceptionally
dim and suffered from communication problems, and although of course
we never mocked him, his way of speaking was undoubtedly entertaining
Clover, whyve you got wobbly legs? and irritating!
Yes that was his key phrase when we were young, back when I did just
have wobbly legs and the wheelchair hadnt yet rolled onto the
I remember him expressing how he felt SO sorry for me because I had
wobbly legs, when at the same time I was thanking God, Mother
Nature or whoever it may be SO much I hadnt turned out like him!
Which leads me to my reasoning as to why I value my mind more than anything
in the world, (with the possible exception of my Dad because hes
just a genius). Following an energetic, active and happy childhood jam-packed
full of normalities, I was diagnosed at the age of eleven with Friedreichs
Ataxia. This degenerative evil process begins with the famous wobbly
legs and ends with, well, like anything, death. It basically eats
away at everything, primarily the nerves. It starts in the legs and
spreads to the arms and speech. The phrase I think Id rather
be like poor old Harry quite frankly mate may be springing to
mind, but to me, because my mind is the only thing Friedreichs
Ataxia cant touch, its the most valuable. God willing, my
mind should never deteriorate or fail to work properly, so to not treat
it as precious and not to use it creatively would be rather like kicking
a gift horse in the mouth. My minds nothing special, except that
its the only part of me that actually works and I personally think
thats worth pursuing.
But its all relative isnt it? Theres no right or wrong
to what we all individually value. Harry valued his legs and physical
independence because his situation has forced him to. One of my friends
values her extrovert and wonderful personality in order to get a boyfriend,
because physically shes so ugly. If she was really beautiful,
she wouldnt value or work on bettering her personality
does this lead us on to the argument that the worse cards youve
been dealt, the more self-awareness you have? Well, maybe, but then
maybe thats just what Ive been encouraged to believe in
order to stop me from slitting my wrists in despair.
So, me and my mind, we get on really well, and one day, when Ive
done all the appropriate appreciating and developing of my favourite
companion, look out for Clover Tuckers best seller.
The phrase goes you dont know what youve got until
you loose it and I do know what Ive got, with a bit of luck
that means Ill never loose it.
© Clover Tucker - November 2003
Clover is a first year Creative Arts student at Portsmouth University
all rights reserved