Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Daredevil Dreams

"I'm supposed to say 'i don't miss it'.   that's what they teach you in trauma recovery.   define yourself by what you have, value the differences, make no apologies for what you lack.   and it's all true.... for the most part,  but it doesn't change the fact.... that i'd give anything to see the sky one more time."

Thus spake the protagonist in Marvel's Daredevil series.   Blinded in a chemical spillage when aged 9, our handsome anti-hero gains superpowers in abundance to compensate for his loss of sight and grows up to become a vigilante, righting wrongs, beating baddies into submission, fighting like a ninja on steroids, standing up for the oppressed and rescuing damsels in distress.   yet despite all this gifting and adventure our superhero misses something as simple as the sky.

Disability and chronic illness involve so many compromises, accommodations, huge inconveniences, whether financial or social, that sometimes the small losses are overlooked or forgotten altogether in the daily battle to live as normally as possible.   who would have thought that whilst staving off villains and saving victims our Marvel Man would yearn to look up and watch clouds drifting against a sea of blue.

Unfortunately us mere mortals don't have the luxury of miraculous talents or super-senses to help compensate for loss,  we have to counteract the deficit by exerting extra energy or focus, utilising the skills that remain at our disposal, harnessing gizmos or technology, and when all else fails finding the humility to hire a helper to achieve tasks that once were managed in moments.  these are our super powers, mundane but necessary, unexceptional but essential.

Of course the disabled don't hold a monopoly on loss and in many ways we are better supported than our able bodied cousins, but perhaps what makes it harder for us is the  powerlessness.  Our dashing Daredevil doesn't NEED the white stick and shades he hides his identity behind, he is more "abled" than the sighted city around him.   sensing through walls, hearing conversations in distant streets , smelling to the atomic level, visualising through finger tips.... yet, he is powerless to do anything to bring about his one heartfelt wish, there is absolutely nothing he can do to see again.    
The trauma recovery and pain clinic lessons are right to focus on what we have retained rather than lost, maximising strengths and minimising weakness, being more interested in those around us than dwelling on health or pain.  but the converse of that equation is also true, there ARE good things we have had to relinquish and at times there's no harm in acknowledging that lack.  acknowledge - accept - advance.  it's hard not to resent losing faculties and being reliant on others to have a "life". it's human to want freedom of movement and independence, even our super-human Daredevil wasn't ashamed to admit he missed the sky. but.... we are free to dream, and in  my dreams i not only run again....

                                                  I   FLY  !!!!