Memento Mori, Memento Vivere

Yesterday I had a headache behind my right eye. It was as if I could feel the shape of my eye nerve all the way from my light brown irises to somewhere in the middle of my head where the pain felt more intense, like the claps of a piano where the pain intensity corresponds to the pitch highness.

Today it’s different, the pain is somewhere above my nose, much closer to my face, and it feels more like pressure causing pain rather than pain itself.

My headaches are varied.

I can remember my worst headaches. In my childhood they used to happen more frequently and they also used to hurt more. I don’t know if they have been genuinely fading or if I have been getting used to them.

Once I took so many paracetamols I overdosed. I was all alone in Manchester in my 2nd year of university and I thought I was going to die there and then without a soul knowing about it, and that they would discover my dead body days, maybe weeks later.

I started to think about death often. As a child whenever I heard adults speak about the fear of death (mostly Woody Allen), I thought it was pathetic. What’s the point of thinking about death while you are alive? I used to ask myself. Now I understand what they meant. Taking a plane becomes a 4h contemplation of how would the world continue if the plane were to crash. A car ride becomes an analysis of all the ways an accident could take place. A headache becomes a step closer to a diagnosis of a brain tumour. A breast pain means breast cancer. My grandmothers both died because of these two things, long before I had the chance to meet them. Reading about genetics feels like reading my death sentence.

Memento mori, but not too much. Memento vivere.

(I started reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and I think if anyone ever reads these lines they would be able to see its influence on me.)

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