Introducing driving into my life again has done a couple of things over this past week – on one hand it has gifted me with the freedom I so desperately wanted allowing me to go places and on the other hand created a nightmare.
I think with driving came the feeling that I was finally returning to some resemblance of my life! The life I had before my operation.
But in reality I haven’t. It has simply highlighted my frustration and/or exhaustion after events or activities that I was previously able to manage with ease. You see I’ve had no brakes on this past week and it kind of shows in the emotional wreck I have been today.
It all started when I woke this morning to a house full of friggin black insects – I kid you not my floors, ceilings, benches, window sills, fly screens, bathtub, shower (the list goes on) were covered in these shitty little gnats. I know so what?!..big deal!! Well this morning it felt like a big deal.. I can’t sweep or get them off the floors, walls and ceilings so I was faced with a day of hanging out with a house full of dead/dying/mating gnats… ugh! So before school my beautiful daughter Lilli was out vacuuming up as many as she could as she knew how hard it can be for me to do this… but still they were everywhere.
It was out of my hands. I had to leave the damn gnats. I would face it all when I got home.
I dropped the girls to school, grabbed a coffee with my girlfriend Nic and decided to pickup a couple of things at woolies (including Mortein). Have you every carried a shopping basket and tried to crutch? Not only does it look awkward, it is. The handles pinch your hand and at times I was actually dangerous (a little to me but mostly to others!!).. this limited me to getting only what I really needed – albeit very slowly and clumsily.
I felt so frustrated.
I took myself through a self serve check out. Dropped my crutch. Paid for my groceries. Dropped my coins. Struggled to pick up the coin and my crutch. Balancing bags on each wrist I very carefully crutched over to the butcher. I bought ham and that one extra kilogram created an imbalance that almost had me stumble to the ground.
As luck would have it I narrowly avoided face planting the stomach of a fellow who I was apologising too when he told me he had also had a similar apparatus on his leg after a big accident! (We are everywhere!) He empathised with ‘how shitty life is with that thing on your leg, even when it comes off it’s a bloody long road’. Any other day I would engage in this conversation. Today I just nodded and bit my lip to hold back the tears.
I slid my sunnies onto my face and took it steady out to the car, negotiating the road at the pedestrian crossing and trying to keep from making any eye contact while also not tripping over the bags swinging from my wrists into my crutches. Any eye contact I was going to cry.
I unloaded the bags from my wrists into the backseat of the car, and climbed into the front seat. I started the engine and took a big deep breath trying to get my shit together. Next minute about five of the stupid black gnats landed on my arm.
This is now officially called the moment the gnat broke the camel’s back.
I lost it. I let go of my lip and I sat in the car park with my car running and I cried and cried and cried.
I cried out of frustration and self pity. Here I was thinking I was on my way back to normality – but I’m not. Not really.
I think today is the saddest I’ve felt in such a long time. It’s taken me a while to even understand my own feelings.. but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s really hard to justify everything I’ve been through and what I’ve put my family and friends through, the impacts to my career and the financial fallout when I still don’t feel like I can do a bloody thing on my own.
I just want to return to normal. I want to walk and work and swim in the ocean and stand in the frickin shower!!
I drove home. I cried again as mum swept up the goddamn gnats littered through my house. Why? I can’t sweep remember.
I know it’s just ridiculous. I’m annoyed at myself for feeling so sorry for myself. It’s not how I roll.
What’s the saying.. ‘You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there’.
I was telling the girls about my day when they got home from the bus. Aw mum… they both said with sad eyes and a cuddle. But you’ve come so far.
Then Lilli took this video of me going for a stroll.
While it’s not pretty it’s a whole lot better than what I could do even one month ago!!
Sometimes you need to be reminded how far you’ve come when it feels like you’re going nowhere.
The tears have since dried up and perspective has thankfully returned.
I am close to achieving what I’d set out to, I just hope I get there soon.