Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Impossible Girl (spoilers) #DoctorWho #Spoonie

Last night was the season finale of Doctor Who. I  thought it was one of the best episodes for quite some time, certainly the best of the season. But it also got me to thinking. A major theme was losing and gaining control - both for the Doctor and his current companion, Clara. And that's also a huge issue for spoonies, people with long-term illnesses that cause crippling fatigue.

The baddies in this episode were the Whispermen, who kidnap the Doctor's friends Clara, Vastra, Jenny and Strax to lure him to the one place he must never go: his grave, on the planet Trenzalore.

When we become ill, it's as if we've been kidnapped and taken to a different planet. We are snatched away from our everyday lives, held hostage by the limitations of our conditions.

There is no body in the Doctor's tomb. Instead there is a time tunnel, made of scar tissue from all the Doctor's travels through time and space. The villain of the piece, the Great Intelligence (hammed up wonderfully by Richard E. Grant) enters the time tunnel, aiming to split itself into fragments scattered throughout the Doctor's timeline and corrupt it absolutely, undoing all the good he's done.

Clara follows it into the time tunnel in an attempt to reverse the damage. Things take place around her. Previous incarnations of the Doctor run by. At first she feels out of control. She has no idea what's going on.

Gradually she works out her purpose. The Doctor is always there, though not always in the same form. She can recognise the best thing for the Doctor to do: she saves his life.

It's the same for us. At first, everything is confusion and feeling out of control. Fatigue, pain, brain fog. But gradually, a pattern emerges. We work out what to do. How to live our lives in the best possible way for ourselves and those around us. Maybe we're not saving the Doctor (or maybe you are?) but in our own way we're time lords, pacing and resting so we can do the things we really want to do.

We're the impossible girls and boys. We learn our purpose. We regain control over our lives.

We're spoonies.


  1. Ah thank you for a brilliant post from one spoonie to another who is taking a day in bed today to recharge my spoon account from an overdraft last week.
    At the bottom of the overdraft I had to recognise that I wasn't keeping my spoon account in good order and re-think my use of time... I was proper miserable about it (every spoonie recognises that feeling)... next time, I'll visualise myself as a time lord!
    Inspirational as ever FM, thank you!!!

  2. love this post. very nice way to think about our limitations - and to remember that whatever may be holding us back or getting in our way, life is always an adventure to be relished and reflected on as we go, better than the telly any day!