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‘She’: Epilepsy, Mental Health, and Self-Detachment

TW: This article includes discussion of mental health, seizures, medical ableism and discussion of to eating disorders.

I recently sat down to write a poem for a competition entry. It was only when I re-read my work I realised in several stanzas, I referred to myself as ‘she.’ To my surprise, I changed them all to ‘I’ – but then, the poem didn’t feel right. So, I changed them back.

I’ve previously convinced myself that I’m nothing more than a consciousness. It’s usually when I’m in bed and have a chance to think. The more I think, the more life starts to unravel at the edges. The idea that individual souls are connected to individual bodies feels ridiculous, absurd.

The sensation mounts, and then something snaps. Sometimes, it feels like my actual bodily form is changing, until I half-believe that someone completely physically different is lying in my bed.