I’ve started writing this post more than once… and stopped, deleted it, gone back, started again…. and so on… because mostly, I’m afraid to say what I want to say. That if I say these things, it gives them truth, and if I say them that I’ll alienate people, seem self absorbed or too self-interested… or other stuff. But it plays on my mind more and more. Especially as the winter hit, and my SAD kicked in and up multiple gears.
It’s nearly six months now since the accident. Since I tripped over and everything changed, and there’s plenty of things I should be and am thankful for. I still have two legs. That’s a pretty big thing right there. That the graft seems to have taken without issue another big thing. That I’m able to use crutches instead of a wheelchair. Another big thing. And don’t get me wrong, they are definite markers of forwards movement. But it’s the small things that are causing me ambivalence at best, and grief at worst.
Today, for example: I managed to have a shower without needing help or a seat. It was a walk in shower, and after thinking about it, taking precautions by having a towel outside it and also on the floor of it so there was no danger or me slipping, I managed to get in there and get my hair washed and have a quick scrub round everywhere else. I couldn’t stand up for too long, so I had to be quick, and I had a lot of trouble on my left hand side as I got lower down my body, as starting to twist was making my knee come out. But it was more than I had managed previously, and whilst I should be happy at that, I’m wondering whether I’ll ever be able to have a shower without having to think about it.
It’s a small victory, for which I should be grateful, but it’s tinged with the pain that something so simple, is now so hard.
I manage to walk all way up or down fargate without stopping: it’s a small victory. Something I couldn’t do a month ago. 6 months ago I could go ten times that distance with utmost ease, and I have to wonder whether I’ll ever be able to do that again? I get back home and I’m knackered. Before that I’d come home knackered after 25+ miles through the peaks.
Truth is, I don’t have very much confidence in walking now, and I’m actually glad the hospital have said that I’m not to go out in ice or snow, because I’m terrified that I’ll slip or end up bracing wrongly and undo everything I’ve worked for. But then I look out of the window and I can *see* the car less than 30m away, and feel ashamed that that is such an obstacle for me now.
I look at my legs and see the scars. They bother me a lot more than I’d like, and way more than I let on. The fact that I may have to always use a stick bothers me less than seeing those. But I can’t avoid them. It’s like they’re there to taunt me.
I’m not looking for sympathy by writing any of this down. Just trying to get it out of my head. which is going to be hard enough when I’m being constantly reminded about it every time I look down, stand up, take a step…
I’ve tried flipping it round on it’s head and trying to look at it that if this has happened, then maybe it’s allowing me to make way for something new, or another way of doing things. It’s certainly given me time to think about the moot, and how to take that forwards… but I don’t see anything else springing up either…
I and everyone else can clearly see the physical scarring – and there’s a fair bit of that! But there are other wounds with this too, and these are the ones I’m now struggling with, and have no clue how to start to let them heal. I can’t just leave them be like the bouts of pain from the damaged nerves in my leg when they hit and it feels like a thunderstorm going off over my shin…I can’t just grimace and wait it out, because I know it will pass in a few minutes because these aren’t going anywhere. I don’t want to be defined by my injuries, but I’m also out of ideas.