I write this today on the back end of a fast month and an even faster weekend.
Yesterday was my 18 month post op anniversary, I had secretly imposed on myself some time ago that 18 months would be my cut off point, my end of the line. I wanted to start moving forward by this point. It could have backfired in the sense that if nothing changed I would feel terrible. I was just sick of feeling crap and thought a deadline might give me a kick up the bum.
About 3 weeks ago I was feeling awful, the usual complaints, feeling low, scared, tired, stuck and fed up. I had a trip back home to England planned and was worried about my resilience but also about the flight over. I’m not a natural flyer, I hate it. So add that on top of everything and I wasn’t doing too well. To cut a story short, I got on the plane, had two lovely weeks with family and had a bit of an adventure on the way home. Whilst in England the first few days were hard, I was sad and lost and cried a lot. Slowly though things began to shift, I began staying up past 6pm, I started to appreciate nature again, I smiled occasionally and found it easier to get out of bed in the morning.
I caught the lurgy whilst away and it blocked my head up, this minor thing would have had me on the ceiling in the past but I was dealing with it, it didn’t bother me at all. It was a nice feeling to not be permanently petrified. “I could get used to this” I thought. The good work continued whilst back at home – 9pm bedtimes, a feeling of lightness, of freedom, hope, productivity, yes even laughter.
I also got discharged from Psychology which was so liberating. I will miss Dr L he was fabulous.
I was feeling brave enough to face demons.
Since my injury (which I acquired skating if you remember) I’ve refused to even look at my skating gear. The skates, helmet and pads have been hidden away. The mere thought of wearing them again was enough to make me retreat back into my safe place. The trauma and difficult feelings brought up was just too much. Then I saw that there was a Roller Derby Tournament happening on the day of my anniversary in THE place where I sustained my injury. So,I bought a ticket and decided to go (it helped that it was the lovely Belfast Roller Derby hosting and playing, it meant there would be some familiar faces).
I have to say, I enjoyed myself. I had a brief wobble initially as I saw the exact spot where it happened but I sat through it and got on with watching the game. There are many feelings brought up by roller derby, the fact that I didn’t get to bow out on my own terms is frustrating, the people that were once so close but have fallen away, the longing to be doing something I really loved but not being able to and the fear it held because I somehow blamed it for what’s happened to me.
I have an urge to get the old skates out again I’ll never play full contact again but a wee whizz around a hall would be wonderful. I have now made peace with the fact that as far as that chapter of my life is concerned I will always be a spectator, in my tshirt, shouting at the track.
This is is not to say I’m 100% better yet! there’ll still be sad/angry/scared days but I KNOW they pass, I KNOW they don’t kill me and I KNOW I am strong enough to make them part of my story.
Ps. BIG love and thanks to Belfast Roller Derby who despite only knowing me for a short time before the injury made me feel so loved yesterday. It lifted me so much, I felt less alone and you filled me with hope. So thank you.