Musings on the road to recovery

Posts tagged ‘disability’

On the outside, looking in

I was taking photos today of a lovely little coffee shop today, sat in the loaned shopmobility scooter, walking stick attached and with one of those lightbulb moments of clarity which you get from time to time, I realised that’s how I feel, like I’m on the outside looking in.

Since the accident I’ve felt like I’m no longer a part of society, I’m at the periphary looking on wistfully instead of being at the centre of things, being an educator, a job that I’ve always loved.

it was rammed home to me later on when, trying to find some gloves to buy as my hands were cold, I politely asked someone to move. Louder than they’d intended, I’m sure and with a pitying look, the lady said to her daughter (I presume) “Oh look. Such a shame” and I felt like weeping.

I’m sure that the lady hadn’t meant for me to overhear, nor did she mean it in a insulting or belittling fashion, I have no doubt whatsoever that she meant no harm, but after over a year of trials, set backs and frustratingly slow progress, on a day when I had felt overjoyed and empowered, opimistic even, that one comment was enough to leave me feeling isolated again.

Instead of ending the trip buoyant and full of enthusiasm, I felt deflated.

Hello world!

I’d never thought about writing a blog until tonight when I loaded my photo for today onto Flickr and accompanied it with a huge amount of text. I found it rather cathartic and considered writing a blog, thanks to the wonders of the internet, a mere 5 minutes later a ready made one was set up for me.

Unfortunately, in true rush ahead, think later fashion, I’d not considered that I would actually have to write something. This appears to be the most difficult part! This blog is intended to be a journal of my life, on the long and rocky road that they call rehabilitation, I was in a car accident over nearly two years ago and have sustained nerve damage/arthritis/deep tissue damage (*whichever is the diagnosis du jour) which causes excruciating pain in most of my body and never stops. I’m on a host of prescription painkillers and the accident has changed my life entirely. At times I struggle to find similarities between my life pre and post accident but it has also taught me a great deal about myself: namely that I have more strength than I thought and that there is always a silver lining if you look hard enough.

For me, rehabilitation has (and is continuing to be) a somewhat rocky and unpredictable journey with no guarantees or certainties but it has also been strangely enriching. I’ve learned more about myself than I ever thought possible, the subsequent Depression and Anxiety caused by the pain has actually led to me confronting various issues which I’ve tried to suppress for a number of years. Strangely in confronting these issues, I’m actually starting to like myself more and am gaining the assurance and assertiveness which have eluded me for the majority of my life.

The other silver lining following the accident is that I’ve finally learned to relax. I always thought that the art of relaxation was designed purely for Buddhist Monks on top of mountains, who chanted such sounds as “Om.” For those of you who have read the works of Terry Pratchett, my vision of monks was not dissimilar to the Listening Monks, for those who don’t…well I’m not sure about whether I can link things on here without being prosecuted and my cats being sold to pay for the court fees, so in this case, Google is your friend.

In any case, (you may have noticed that I have a propensity to use three words when one will do, if you have then just a. be grateful that you don’t have to live with me and b. feel sorry for my long suffering husband), I started to practise a form of meditation lite and practise different breathing techniques. I’m sure that I’ll talk about that at length in the near future.