Summer is ending.
I haven’t really seen that much of it this year. 5 Weeks in a hospital bed, 2 weeks in a hospital bed, but not in a hospital.
I tried posting a couple of weeks ago, about a day, but WordPress lost the post, and didn’t even save a draft copy, which was annoying.
So instead I come to post again.
I don’t know if I’ve changed much in the while since the accident. People tell me I’ve lost weight, and maybe I have, but that’s just a bonus really. I’ve done what I always do, which is to take things as they come, after all, once they’ve happened, I can’t change that. All I can do is get on with it. So since this injury, which according to the consultant and medical journals is classed as “life-altering” I’ve just gotten on with it. From waking up with an external fixator on my leg, and being told it would be there for six weeks, and would need a second operation the day after to fix the artery which was damaged beyond repair, to being told the frame would be taken off a little early due to the recurrence of an infection in the pin site, to the realisation that Iwouldn’t be able to go home after getting out, or for some time after that.
I’ve had moments of being angry, definitely. At myself, at the hospital for not diagnosing me correctly to begin with, at the hospital for being stuck in an environment which does nothing but destroy your spirit and will. At objects being in the way, or out of reach even, but those moments have passed quickly, and I’ve instead made the best of it.
There’s frustration too, a hell of a lot of that. Mostly for the simple things I can no longer do without help. I can’t just get up and go get a drink if I’m thirsty, or go to the toilet unaided. If it’s not within my immediate reach I have to ask for help. THAT is frustrating, especially for someone as independent as I am. But I know that it will pass. I may never be able to run again, maybe I won’t be able to walk any kind of distance anymore – which in itself, for me, would be soul-destroying, but at the end of the day I’ve survived, and I’ve made it through this event.
I see people around me getting frustrated – I don’t necessarily have a lot else I can do – and when people come to see me, I can often see what else is going on, and I know full well, there are lots of people who are having their own battles with their own frustrations at the moment. I can’t say anything though a lot of the time, because unless you can accept that you are struggling, angry, frustrated, annoyed, or anything, then you are stuck there. Whether you’re convinced that you can’t handle much more because you’re trying so hard to keep everything going, or if it’s because you’re trying to be strong for someone else who is fighting their own demons. Whether it’s that you’re not moving forwards with work as quickly as you’d like, or that a business is going through a dry patch. Until you actually accept that, you’re not going to be able to move yourself out of it at all.
And that can be the hardest thing in the world.
It’s only when you do this you can plan – when you can accept that you’re terrified of flying because you’re scared of heights, or enclosed spaces, you can begin to work to overcome that, starting small, and working up to something challenging – of if you accept that it’s a dry patch in your business – you can begin to look at alternative strategies for marketing – adding something new, or networking, just to discover it’s not just you. The thing is you’re never as alone as you think, but unless you communicate that, you’ll be stuck in the dark shady world of can’t, and noone else can get you out of there.
I certainly don’t have all the answers, far from it. I get frustrated over not being able to do stuff every day, multiple times a day, but I do see what other people go through and feel and think, and wish they could be as pragmatic as I am sometimes. But we’re all different, and that’s a good thing. We all have different strengths, skills and weaknesses, and the right combination of friends will cover all bases – and you never know, if you actually acknowledge your struggle, there’ll be others struggling too, and probably someone who is able to help. But you have to take that step. And sometimes the hardest thing of all is waiting for someone to realise that for themselves, and knowing until then, there’s nothing that you can do.
I’ve got a long hard road ahead of me and it will be full of frustrations, and at times, it will feel impossible, like I can’t possibly do it all, but it will just be temporary, and I’m lucky to have people around who are able to remind me of that when I stumble and fall. And I will be that person for those I care about as much as I am able, but the one thing I cannot counter from experience is pride.
but that’s another story for another day. I just wish people were able to lay it aside and admit when they’re struggling before things blow up and come to a head. Then the rest of us can help.