So much of life is supposed to be avoiding hard, tackling hard, struggling with hard, wondering why something's hard, if we're making it hard, and trying to get through hard to easy. It leaves us feeling easy is good and hard is bad, easy is desired and hard is not.
Most of the time we don't ponder our relationship with hard, we just have it. Questioning it or reflecting on it doesn't seem to come up. Then comes encephalitis and everything becomes hard. We are forced to look at "hard" and come to terms with it, take a position on it, assess our orientation to it, and then integrate it into our conscious reflections.
To be intimate with hard exacts great integrity. Martyrdom, victimhood, Pollyanna, denier, none of these will liberate, yet hard needs some of each of these for intimacy. The recognition of hard, (martyr), the price of hard, (victim), the hope in hard, (Pollyanna), the ability not to stare at hard, (the denier), are all necessary for intimacy with hard, but none to the exclusion of the others. To be intimate with hard is hard.