What an opening!

Recently, after reaching a threshold of “recovery” from a chronic illness—an illness that has affected me not only physically, but spatially, familially, economically, and socially, and set me on a long road of thinking about the marriage of bodies and chemicals—I found myself deeply suspicious of my own reassuring statements to my anxious friends that I was feeling more alive again. Surely I had been no less alive when I was more sick, except under the accountings of an intuitive and immediately problematic notion of “liveliness” and other kinds of “freedom” and “agency.” I felt unsettled not only for reasons of disability politics—for “lifely wellness” colludes with a logic that troublingly naturalizes illness’s morbidity—but also because I realized that in the most containing and altered moments of illness, as often occurs with those who are severely ill, I came to know an incredible wakefulness, one that I was now paradoxically losing and could only try to commit to memory.1

Aliya WeiseComment