Tag Archives: recovery

‘The time has come’, the Walrus said…

I cannot utter the first four words of that sentence without swiftly following them up with the latter three.  It’s like an incomplete statement if I don’t.  Unfortunately that sentence often only comes out to play when there is some decision I need to make or unpleasant action to be undertaken and I am girding my loins to take it.  Procrastinating is the other thing that comes out.

‘Girding the loins’; who does that nowadays? Moving on…

The time has come, some three months after beginning this, to return to life as I once knew it.  Time to leave my sanctuary, my bolt-hole and rejoin the society I have left behind for over quarter of a year.  And I just don’t really want to.  Oh, it’s not fear of what has changed since I have retreated, it’s not even worry about how I will slot back into the place I left behind because that would all too easy to do.  It’s not even concern over whether there is a place for me the way I left things or whether the tide has come in and washed away the footprints I left behind.  No.  My trepidation is due to the fact I know I’m not the same person as when I left. And I have no intention of fitting neatly back into the sunken hole I left behind.

  1. Health

Upon my departure I was sick.  Not in an infectious, illness kind of way no, but more in a withheld, withdrawn, incapable kind of way I can only see now with hindsight.  For two years I have been a shade of me with tranquillised edges.  Now, I can feel again beyond the L5/S1 vertebrae and have found that desire to keep feeling this way for the foreseeable future.

Not only that, this is the most I’ve exercised in a long time and I’m actually enjoying it.  Who knew recovery could be so damn good for you!

  1. Happiness

Having avoided looking at what makes me unhappy – beyond that vertebrae combination – for some time [the only attempted foray into it ending in disaster from some dubious decisions, calling into question my confidence in my own judgement – all in all a depressing and counter-productive exercise], the time to confront what has dropped me lower than the stereotypical Essex girl’s knicker elastic has been more than a little terrifying.  But also incredibly enlightening.  As a wise and trusted friend has told me on more than one occasion, ‘you cannot change other people’s actions, only your own and how you react to others.’  Looking at what makes me unhappy has also made me face what truly makes me happy and how much I have been neglecting the positive in my life without meaning to.  And as Nickelback have taught me, ‘It’s hard to see through bullshit when it’s up above your eyes’.  I was in fact a self-fulfilling prophesy and now I see that, it has fulfilled its last

  1. Selfishness

Mm, to the crux of the matter.  This is something I have forgotten recently and have frequently rearranged my plans to suit anyone else’s intentions rather than my own.  And this is something I have recently decided need an overhaul.

I have always believed that the word ‘selfish’ gets a bad rap.  To be selfish is defined as being ‘concerned primarily with one’s own interests’, which so many people would agree is a horrible way to live and that selfish people alienate people, lose friends and will in general die lonely and alone because they have lived their lives purely for their own gain to the detriment of all others.

However at this juncture I would beg to differ.  At what point did making yourself a priority become an evil to rival the seven deadly sins?  Since when did putting yourself first become behaviour worthy of disgust?  And just when and where is it written that you must, at all times, put the needs and desires of others before yourself in order to avoid committing such an immoral taboo?  Believe me, I am just as anti ‘selfish, self-centred, unrealistically full of their own self-importance twats’ as the next person but to be perfectly frank; if we’re not selfish once in a while who else exactly is going to primarily concerned with one’s own interest?  Because it sure as hell isn’t going to be anyone else is it?

  1. Insight

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  But a little further knowledge is always appreciated.  From time to time I look at myself and wonder if I have it wrong.  I thought I knew me pretty well but time and perspective has made me realise I’ve underestimated a fair few points about me that actually should be considered important.  It doesn’t matter what they are and quite frankly it’s not anyone else’s business but there is never anything wrong with a little extra insight into your own world.


I have changed in three months, to the extent when I’m starting to like myself again.  I’m not the person I left behind and I have no intention of return to her sorry shell.  I’m perhaps apprehensive, maybe sometimes anxious, a touch tentative and possibly even a little scared of what is to come.

But the one thing I am not doing, is hiding from it any more.




I’ve had a very busy day and I’m exceptionally tired now, but I feel that certain glow of achievement you can only get after a sense of accomplishment brought on by a success, whether physical or moral has been attained.  Today may seem like an ordinary day to many people but to me it marks a number of firsts to be noted:

  1. Today is the first time I have been out of the house for more than two hours and away from my home comforts, safety nets and out of reach of my bed for six weeks!  It is unbelievable how much more tiring you find life when suddenly there is no option just to ‘stop and have a lie down’ any time you want.  It’s like being on edge all the time but in fact it’s just what everyone else does. All day every day.
  2. Today was the first time back in the car for a long journey since the slight nightmare that was the home trip from the hospital on the 21st December.  [N.B.The fact my dad ‘helped’ by pulling the seat back I was just about to lean on and we ended up a little bit lost in the middle of New Cross  and it took over two hours to get there made it a nightmare.  The fact I was a touch fuzzy on morphine throughout made it only a slight one…]
  3. It was also the first time I then made the same journey back again at the end of the day.
  4. My first interaction for longer than 2 hours with someone outside of the family.  I would not be surprised to discover how many calories you burn just sitting talking as it takes one hell of a lot of energy to talk, listen, keep up with and keep going on a conversation.
  5. My last day on the mega strength pain pills.

In short, today I went back to my usual home, visited the boy and spent some time in the house.  it was only for about 3 hours but as it took an hour and a half to get there and a little under three hours to get back, it made for an exceptionally long day.  But a good one I feel.

I hadn’t told anyone I was returning, mostly because I didn’t want anyone to suggest visiting or anything else remotely similar, today or at any future point as I think it would have been too much for me at the time.  Also I just wanted to be able to focus on one thing at a time and deal with one little situation on my own, break it down and work through it piece by bite-size piece.  And I did!  And I feel proud of myself.  And at the same time I am also sitting here laughing at myself for being proud of doing something other people do all the time!

My mum often says “you’re not ‘other people’. You’re you and you’re individual”, and I think in this case she may have a point.  Because while I sit here and smile indulgently, quietly mock myself at my enthusiasm over my meagre achievements I would have carried out without a moments thought not less than three months ago, part of me also hides the beam of pride at myself for overcoming this miniature wall of adversity and silently pats me, very gently, on the back.

Like a child learning their steps in the way of the world I am, at some stage going to have to accept that for now, I am child like in my progression and the smallest hurdle should be greeted with courage and determination but equally should be rewarded with praise and encouragement to enable me to face the next.

This whole illness, operation and recovery is perhaps one of my biggest hurdles so far and certainly one of my steepest learning curves and yet somehow I cannot seem to see how far I have to go but also just how far I have come.  In fact at times I have trouble seeing past my own inability to circumnavigate the walls this presents me with and see only my own lacking ability; my own failure.  For what are walls obstructing the path but obstacles to be met one brick at a time, one layer after another until it is small enough to step over without a backwards glance and instead I look only at the wall I have yet to face.  I should remember to look at what is left behind when I need a reminder.

And right about the time I can take that backwards glance and see the rubble left behind me I think is about the time I will finally admit to myself how far and how much I have really had to overcome.  About the time I am on the other side of that wall and probably as it’s receding in my mind, perhaps doubting it was ever really that big in the first place.

Until then, I’ll just chuckle at my efforts to take on the bricks.


I’m grumpy and fed up today.  I don’t think it’s anything specific just a lot of stuff all wrapped together.  So, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to reduce this is to address each issue one by one to find out what the problem is, whether I can resolve it and if so what can be done.  Here we go:

  1. I don’t really want to go home and I’ve got to the point in my convalescence where I can think about that now as a proper possibility in the not too distant future.  Unfortunately, instead of appearing as a milestone I will have reached, it is looming as a pinnacle of everything I don’t want to return to.  The job, the house, the situation of money, life and everything…
  2. I still feel like I’m skiving and I have the physio and doctors in the next ten days and I just feel like they’re going to be wondering why the hell I’m still lounging around on my arse and not back at work as I’m obviously perfectly capable.  Yes I know this is probably not what they’re thinking when I’m being rational but I’m not rational.  I’m paranoid about it.
  3. I don’t want visitors!  I have created this comfortable cocooning routine that doesn’t include anyone else except my parents and the dog and I am truly loathed to let anyone else in to ruin it.  Also there is no-one right now that I want to see who won’t bring alone news of the ‘home’ I don’t want to return to and the people there I just don’t want to see.  I know I don’t have to go anywhere or see anything but at some point this will not be the case and then I worry that the longer I postpone it, the tighter my cocoon will become and the worse it will be when the time comes to breaking it open.
  4. Money and housing worries as July is creeping up and by that point I should have either procured a house or come up with some excellent reasons as to why I want to throw good money after bad in the renting market yet again and all the entailing shit this brings with it.  Such as who will be paying for what…?  Oh if only life were that simple!
  5. I don’t know how my back is doing as I have not been doing a normal day’s activities so I have no idea if my back will hurt as much as it did, whether it can stand up more or less to normal workloads and whether I am doing more damage to it by not doing as much as I used by even a fraction of the amount.  I know I can’t go round lifting, bending and twisting as I did because that would be stupid but I don’t walk about all day as I used to and is that counterproductive or is it just what the doctor ordered.  Which brings me on to…
  6. Medication being as it is, if the doctor reduces it this time and I can cope a lower level then point 2. feels even more significant, however if I can’t cope with a lower level I will feel as if the whole operation has been for nothing as I’m still not able to live without the pain killers.


Basically, today feels like it’s been a bit of a write off.  Time to stop wallowing and start finding solution!  And yet I can’t manage the desire to find solutions when I’m feeling like this which is a conundrum for another day I feel.


Fuck it; I’m going to sleep.