FOP

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I watch a lot of documentaries. Most of them, granted, are about serial killers and murders, but I’ll really watch anything. I know they’re usually bias, and you can twist media to prove any point you would like to, but I think the more you know about the world and it’s people, the better. I particularly enjoy the films based around cultural taboos and other such things.

However, I recently watched one called The Girl Whose Muscles Are Turning To Bone. This, of course, features a rare disease called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, or FOP. At it’s core, this disease turns your muscles into bones. The more your muscles get damaged, your body repairs them by turning them into bone. Of course, given the nature of the condition, there’s no cure. At least right now. It’s absolutely tragic. As a person grows up, their movements are restricted more and more, until the point where their bodies are completely frozen, and they’re unable to move at all. In this way, their bodies – in an attempt to repair themselves – are actively working to create their own cage to be trapped in.

It goes without saying that I definitely felt for the people who suffer from such a debilitating disease, with no hope of cure nor relief.

However, the idea of our bodies taking away our freedoms in an attempt to repair the damage done is something I consider to be a really interesting concept. After all, even without having the condition ourselves, aren’t we all doing the same thing as the disease?

Now again, this is just another thought I had – another one of my theories, I guess. Anyways, here’s how I see it:

We all get hurt. It happens. We start our lives innocent and sweet, and the longer we live, the more we’re broken apart. We’re abused and mistreated, and our emotional ‘bodies’ only get further damaged. That’s just the way it goes. That’s part of living, and there’s absolutely not a single thing you can do about it.

Except, of course, how you choose to respond to all this brokenness.

First of all – which I think is the option most people try to take – is to follow the inspiration of FOP, and harden yourself. Something hurts, so you grow bone where soft muscle was before, and nothing can damage you there again. We’ve all heard the expression “hard hearted,” and this is pretty much what I’m talking about. You make yourself untouchable. It makes sense, right?

Sure. Only, you can’t move around as well anymore. You soon stop being able to walk, your hands don’t work so well, and the simplest activities start to become difficult. Or, to put it in our terms – you stop loving so openly. You stop believing in magic, you don’t open yourself up to people anymore, and you do nothing but go from home to work because adventures are risky. You can’t live your life.

However, the other option is to not be a victim of bone, and let your muscles grow back as soft as they were before. Does this mean you’re going to be hurt again? Most certainly. That’s the way things go. But will this allow you to live life normally, being able to enjoy things and function as you were meant to? Yes. This is the only way to let magic into your life, to learn to love and live again, as that one Foo Fighters song goes.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

And I’d even take it a step further – to live is to be vulnerable, and if all we’re doing is growing more bone to protect us from our wounds, we’re slowly losing the life we’re trying to protect in the first place. 

Anyways, that’s just a thought I’ve been having. What do you think about it?

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