My blog writing used to take me to a world where my voice felt natural. It was not without effort, but writing was a path not only toward an articulation of what engaged me, but a discovery of who I was. By writing, I learned something about what I truly believed – and did not believe. To be public about the personal was a rush – all my clothing could came off.

But did you catch that “could” qualifier? All my clothing could come off, but typically it did not. I had enough skill as a writer to write personally but with discretion.

Writing is harder now, thanks to the impact of encephalitis. It is slower, and my vocabulary has been reduced. Writing still engages me, and that engagement is certainly worth something, but there’s more effort required and there’s greater vulnerability.

But to be engaged is to be motivated, is it not? I need to be motivated because I am sometimes discouraged by how long it takes for me to write.

I resent that encephalitis chewed my brain, but time spent with anyone in this world will reveal that we all have pains in our lives. Why am I so unable to accept what happened? Why can’t I just get on with life?

Something happened to me that doesn’t happen to most others. At fewer than 200,000 cases per year in the US, encephalitis is considered “rare.” Few people have had direct contact with encephalitis in any way. But I think that what I would like people to know is that my relationship to everything in life has changed because I am aware enough of what has happened to my mind to feel embarrassed by its diminished capacity.

I live with my clothes off, disconcertingly naked. I hope for discretion.

I’m gonna give it a shot.

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