It wasn’t so much an argument, more like a disagreement, with a guy who came up to me after a reading I did recently. I finished off on a poem about Multiple Sclerosis and how having it hasn’t changed me.
The guy didn’t say what his illness was but he went… “You are wrong. Of course being ill changes us. You are a different person now.”
I was diagnosed with MS in 2016 but I had been unwell for years and years before that. At one point I couldn’t feel the entire right half of my body and I was so tired all the time I just couldn’t do anything, even the things I enjoyed the most, like sex.
Back and fore the doctors’ surgery I went with my notebook of different symptoms – I must’ve looked like a right hypochondriac. I was sent to different specialists in different departments of the hospital until finally an MRI scan and a neurologist revealed all these scars on my brain and spinal cord. And then he went and put a name on all of those years of being ill: Multiple Sclerosis.
So, did I walk into that neurologist’s office that afternoon as me, the person I had been for 28 years in all my glory and mischief, and was it like Stars in Their Eyes… did I suddenly walk out of that office into a puff of smoke and transform into a different person?
Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be... an emotional wreck.
by Rhian Elizabeth I posted the obligatory back to school photograph of my daughter on Facebook this morning. Because if you don’t post that photo then basically you are a bad mother and all your Facebook mother friends will judge you. Although I will admit that, unlike other parents and their photo captions, I was not 'bursting with pride' at the sight of Scout in her new uniform (after weeks of complaining about the stiffness of collars and the length of skirts and the uncomfortableness of ties I was just glad she put the fucking thing on), I was not...
Rhian Elizabeth here. Parthian have given me control of their blog for the next month. Perhaps this will be a mistake on their part. I’ve been asked to write as much as I can manage and whatever I feel comfortable with. Since I’ve been focusing on poetry this past year, I haven’t written prose in a really long time, so whatever I can manage may not be very much at all. I’ve got to try and remember what a full stop is, where the caps lock is on my keyboard, and to fill the page with loads of words. Becoming...
As she prepares to release her debut poetry collection the last polar bear on earth, Rhian will be writing a daily blog for us across September about her writing and her life, so here's an interview to get you all introduced...
There is clearly a lot going on in your poetry, what influenced you to write?
I know. It’s because there’s a lot going on in my head! What first influenced me to write in general is what still influences me to write now – it’s not any sort of influence as such, just the need to write. I’ve always written about things that I’m going through that are difficult. I’m not good at talking about my feelings so I write them down instead. In my first book I fictionalised growing up, being a teenager, the death of my father, friendships, music. This poetry collection is all about me having Multiple Sclerosis, being a mother, being gay, being in and getting over a violent relationship, making mistakes.