The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Jean-Dominique Bauby in his brilliant book, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”, illustrates perfectly how many of us can live, the world of our minds and the world of physical reality. After a stroke that left Bauby completely ‘locked in’ and with only the movement of one eye lid, he wrote this book  by communicating letters with his eyelid. His mind was totally active but ‘locked in’ he was unable to communicate to the world around him, until one day his therapist discovered his ability to say yes or no with the blink of the eye. 

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

We “dream” without physical limits, personality constraints, free from emotional hurt……we are a butterfly that is free to skip through the air at will to this beautiful flower for a little rest before seeking out the next awesome smelling one. As a butterfly of the mind there is nothing we cannot do but then in the real world we can feel like we are dressed in one of those heavy underwater diving bell suits trying to clumsily move through life.

Last week I felt so constrained by “dark” emotions that paralysed me from doing what I wanted to do. At one point the darkness causes physical sickness feelings and a nervous shaking of the body. Yet again I find myself retreating to the drug of sleep, I just shut out the world, I turn off for a few hours and dont have to face reality….I can go into sleep as the “butterfly” and pretend my world is normal, my Mike is with me and we carry on where we left of. Then I wake and find myself in the “diving bell” again!

The sun is shinning, its a brilliant day, I will cycle to work and emulate the “butterfly” as best I can in the physical reality.

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