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I have long thought I fared better under water than I do on land. I have used this blog in part to explore my connection with the sea. I hadn’t considered why these things might be, beyond a potentially deeply held sense of connection to our oceanic origins, and my difficulty with dealing with gravity.

A little over a month ago I received a diagnosis that explains all the difficulties I have been dealing with in recent years. The debilitating levels of fatigue, the excruciating pain in my muscles and the challenge of being upright. I am hypermobile. I am bendier and stretchier than I should be. An inherited disorder of connective tissue, my ligaments are poorly equipped to hold me up. Being underwater is the obvious solution.

Reconsidering some of the creatures that live in the sea I realise I am more jellyfish. Held up by it’s environment, it does not do well once washed up on shore. Or some other soft bodied animal in need of an exoskeleton while on land. I have a renewed affinity with the stranded whales and porpoise that end their lives beached on shingle, crushed by their own size, lungs collapsed no longer protected by rib cage. I have an envy of the crab with its shell, and the dog whelks in rock pools, protected by what causes me pain by being on my insides.

I will comb the beach with a renewed sensitivity for my kin folk.