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  • Writer's pictureEmily Ainscough

The Other Love

This post contains details of FND symptoms which some readers may find triggering.

I was going to write about my exes this week, and I still will, but a good friend visited me this weekend gone, and it reminded me that I do have love in my life, a great deal of it, and it would be wrong in a blog about my 'love life' not to mention the wonderful people that make this life so full of love.

So this is an encomium to the sex-less love. The love that is never embarrassed or overthinking or avoidant. The love I take for granted far too often, especially in my patient and generous parents who have really done far too much for me with far too little in return. I hope they know how they make my heart sing when I look at them - I know how I make theirs tremble with worry, (probably for things like starting a blog about my sex life and sharing it with the world...oops). When I'm too symptomatic to get out of bed, they sit with me, and watch crap telly. That means a lot.

One of the most difficult things about having this condition for me, has been trying to work out how much people ought to be there for me. What is reasonable to expect, and what I must flail around with on my own. I imagine working that balance out for the people in my life is as difficult for them, too. I have been let down by people I love, and by strangers, I have thought I have deserved more care and safeguarding in a lot of situations, I have even known it. But, I don't want to dwell on those times today. Today I want to tell you about some of the times I have been honestly breathless, to see the selfless things the people who love me will do, simply because they care.

So, thank you to the friends that have carried me down stairs in their arms because I couldn't move for myself. Thank you to the friends that have changed my sanitary pads for me, because even when I'm paralyzed, I still get my period. Thank you to the friends that have comforted me, taught me to walk again, propped my stiff arms up in funny positions just to make me smile. Thank you for saving me from drowning, from embarrassment, from falling and starving and choking. For every time you have held me up or helped me cut my spaghetti, I remember. When I lose my ability to speak, I'm able to get it back if I can copy somebody else. Thank you to those friends that teach me to say 'shit', 'fuck', and 'wanker' first, and pop a fag between my teeth as they light it with theirs.

I honestly wake up in the morning thinking of you all, and how lucky I am to know you, and to be loved by you. I know this is all super cheesy, but I think there's a call for it here. This really is the earth-shattering kind of love I thought only existed in Keats' poems or obituaries for people remembered with an added pinch of sugar. Maybe true love is when this kind of love meets with the other kind (the romantic, sexy kind of love). Well, that really would be wild. If that exists out there, somewhere, then I guess I understand why so many musicians got rich off the back of it, and why Hollywood gives it so much credit.

Now, like an anxious Oscar recipient, trying to recall and list all of the names they ought to thank, I'll opt instead for a broader display of gratitude. To everyone on this earth that has shown me love in all your myriad ways, and to everyone that is yet to, thank you from the bottom of my heart to the top of it and beyond. I really couldn't do it without you.

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