Musings on the road to recovery

On a day like today…

I’ve had a great day today,a day where it’s felt like everything is slipping back into place and that the persistence is paying off. I thought I’d blog about today so that in time to come, I can look back when I’m having a bad day and remind myself that things will improve again soon and that it’s not all bleak and dark. My earworm for today has been Elbow – A Day Like Today.

Today I drove to where I work. Now for many people, they might be wondering how that’s so special, I mean normal people drive to work every day don’t they? I certainly did before the accident, although not every day, I mean they did give me some time off for good behaviour occasionally. Since the accident, I’ve been off work, “on the box” is the local term for it. I’ve not been at work properly since. I’m hoping to attempt a phased return to work in the near future and in order for that to be possible, I have to be able to drive there, not just on a good day but consistently.

It’s a 45 minute drive each way and my long term rehabilitation plan has included increasing my tolerance to sitting, standing, driving and walking. (we won’t mention the walking though, ok? It’s the area of least progress)  but my tolerance is improving for each of the other activities.  We went to our favourite cafe; a traditional, builder’s tea type cafe, where if you were to mention any of that Darjeeling or Earl Grey tea gubbins, you’d be laughed straight out of the door but if it’s a flourescent orange, strong cuppa that you like, to accompany your full English breakfast with fried bread (a real artery clogger) then you won’t be disappointed. It was a real landmark for me, we’ve not been there for a year and Mr RR dug into his full English breakfast with relish. There may have been some sounds of real bliss coming from the other side of the table, maybe some snarling if anyone came near him with a knife and fork…we’ll gloss over that though.

Today has been the cumulation of a year of work, of increasing my driving distances frustratingly slowly but this progress has accompanied a growing sense of self worth, of, dare I say it? Pride. I’ve never liked looking at who I am in the mirror, always wishing that I could be someone else (preferably someone who’s a size 12, looks like Salma Hayek and is so beautifully articulate that she leaves the opposite sex feeling speechless and overcome with longing.) I’d heard of people who felt happy to be themselves, the French expression is “se sentir bien dans sa peau”, a figurative translation is to be at home in your skin, to feel comfortable with who you are. I’ve never felt like this however I’m starting to be able to look at the person in the mirror with something approaching respect.

I’m not going to lie and say there was no other choice post accident, there was. I could have chosen to accept that I would be house bound for the rest of my life and to give up, relegate my hopes and dreams to the rubbish bin and to set my sights lower, daytime TV I’m looking at you. I chose the other path, the one which was riddled with potholes (damned council), with set backs, flare ups, increased pain but also greater rewards.

Today feels like a good day to be me.

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