From an early age I felt that I had an acute awareness of just how fortunate I was to be able to experience such a variety of hobbies, on top the blessing of being taken on wonderful holidays both in this country and abroad to experience different cultures and customs and most importantly to get my taste and love for travel in all it’s forms!.
After months of battling with trying to keep up with college days which started at 8.45am and finished at 7.30pm, (minus a lunch break!), with a three hour commute either side, and topped off with a weekend spent travelling from London to the Isle of Wight and back to teach dance- I unsurprisingly on reflection, began to get bugs and viruses and was unable to recover fully before the next would come along to bite me again.
Despite battling all that I could to continue with my life’s path, I had to say goodbye to my scholarship and dreams of making it big in the business; a blow that at eighteen years old felt like somebody was ripping out my heart.
After time and a terribly kind and patient boss, I was able to make a career as a resident choreographer and performer in a professional company as well a teacher of dance and theatre craft to children and adults.
Yes, it’s true, it wasn’t always glitz and glamour, there was a fair amount of jet lag and air sickness to deal with, but the tropical beaches and phenomenal experiences in countries all over the world certainly made up for that for me I can assure you!!
The frustration that this evokes in me is so immense I can not even describe it to you concisely and eloquently as even thinking about it makes me want to cry, shout and thump this computer all at the same time!!
It is just one more thing for one who becomes disabled after living an able bodied life to deal with; one more thing that I have personally found has been the hardest blow.
This no doubt seems a little strange to those of you who have not lived this experience yourselves; ...after all, you’ve lost your career, lifestyle, ability to drive, possible facility to be able to have children and of course the ability to walk around and even get out of bed at all some days- surely many of these must have a harsher affect than simply having to live at a slower pace of life?... I’m sure you are thinking. In actual fact however hard many of these changes in my life have been, on the whole, at five years down the line, I have been able to deal with most of these factors to a satisfactory extent and have started to stop mourning my old life and embrace my new by making the most of my love of writing and by trying my best to make a positive difference to the lives of those who become disabled like me. I feel that as of seven months ago, (when my procedures, surgeries, investigations and rehabilitation had settled down), that my life had begun again and with the pride in my heart of having picked myself up and attempted to get back on with things, I have been knocked for six with this new realisation that however positive and inspiring my desires and plans to not let my disability affect me may be, my pace of life is still ruled by my disability and the subsequent morphine that has to be taken for it, which then has it’s own restricting affect on my life also.
In my life pre car crash and subsequent disability, if my goals had so required it, I would have worked through the night to get my show choreographed or have worked extra flights to enable me to take the time off to perform as a dancer again once I had begun working for Virgin Atlantic; simply explained, I would have just knuckled down and made it happen whatever the physical price.
As I’ve discussed on my blog before, there are indeed some people who have become disabled who can still do this to a degree, (such as those who have a physical disability that doesn’t give them severe pain or complications and can so take part in extreme sports and challenges without serious repercussions), but unfortunately my disability, (although more fortunate than many in some respects), dictates me with chronic indescribable pain that requires immense amounts of morphine 24-7, 365 days a year and so restricts me from knuckling down and just getting on with it, as when the pain gets so bad I have to take extra liquid morphine on top of my daily dose, I am then physically and mentally incapable of doing anything but lay on my bed and stare into space whilst slowly becoming consumed with frustration.
As I found myself about to jovially write, it’s ok though, I’ll get there, I shall conquer this challenge, (to top off the post with a positive statement), I re-read the start of this immense post where I wrote…
‘’…as a result of trying to do it all as always…I sadly failed miserably!’.
I therefore instead round up today’s rambling morphine influenced post, by stating that I won’t ‘beat it’, or ‘do it all’- I will instead do my best to accept that which I can not change and embrace that which I can; meaning in this instance, I will endeavour to come to terms with the fact that I can no longer push my body to the limits to just get something done or achieve a goal, and instead utilise the small windows of time and workable pain levels the best that I can, by perhaps being a little more organised.
To get the most out of this new life of mine, I have to realise that it has to be treated in a different way to that of my previous life; it has to have more realistic physical goals, and has to have more help with the emotional side of things.
I WILL achieve my goal to establish and make successful my charity to ensure better psychological support for those who become disabled and the loved ones around them, and I will do my very best to highlight the atrocious inadequacies in our travel system for people with disabilities, as well as make the lives of people with disabilities as easy as is possible through the measures I have planned- but what I am learning of late, is that I will just have to do these things over a slightly longer time frame than I would like and would have done previously.
It’s just one more thing to come to terms with in becoming disabled and being unable to live the life I used to, but I will do my best to do that also, I shall achieve it! You’ve heard it here folks, you are my witnesses- make me make this happen!
Today's Reason to Smile, is a link to the website where I found my lovely snazzy 'non clinical looking' sticks.
Take a look at the lovely patterns that are available. They've certainly made me smile since I've said goodbye to my old NHS stylie walking sticks that's for sure!!