I am still haunted by Howard Dully’s story, “My Lobotomy,” which I heard on NPR several years ago. It occurred to me again as I read a comment on the blog this morning.
Last week’s Question That Haunts was compared by some to “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” But to others, it was a serious, existential question. To those of us who are able-bodied and able-minded, it’s no big deal. But to those of us who are not, it’s a different story.
For example, this comment came in from Worthless Beast:
I’m not sure I entirely agree with a pure-materialist view (then again, I’m “not sure” about most things)… and I’m no scholar, just a worthless nobody, but this is exactly why this post speaks to me.
I have a disability – one of the brain. Bipolar disorder that’s severe enough to keep me from being able to hold down a job for any length of time. A lot of people in the world do not treat brain-illness as real-illness and those that do, it would seem, think in terms that most people think of “illness” – “Cure it all now!” and “Let’s prevent more people from being born with this!”
As much as I work to manage symptoms, in the end, I like my crazy. I wasn’t diagnosed until adulthood, but there’s strong evidence that “this was the thing that was wrong with me” that my parents and teachers couldn’t figure out when I was a kid, and thus, it’s a condition that has been with me all of my life, has shaped my life and is an indelible part of me. I also find that having the issues that I have with my emotions helps in my creativity. I may not be able to hold down a normal job, but I’m hoping that some of my art and writing will get lucky and get “known” someday.
In any case, my “crazy” that the world looks down on and wants to “cure all” is something I donot want to be cured of – by man OR by God. Being wonky is what makes me “me.” To “lobotomize” me just because people are afraid of oddness or think it’s merciful would essentially destroy “me.”
I like to think, if the afterlife in any form is real, that we keep the scars we want to keep.
So, I put this out to the rest of you who carry illnesses and ailments of the mind and body: Do you want to carry your scars in the afterlife?