Health & Happiness

I haven’t blogged for a while but I’ve been thinking about the last 29 months quite a lot lately, so it feels like the right time to put down my thoughts.
For various reasons the accident has come up in conversation a lot lately, with old friends reminiscing, with new friends inquiring, with family being supportive of my new adventures. Whenever I do talk about it, it always amazes me how clearly I still remember that day. I always assumed that my memories would lessen and become obscured but that isn’t the case. Certain moments in time still have the ability to create a knot of fear in my stomach, but with much less panic than they would have caused a year ago. The key is to not let the fear take over. Stay in control and be strong.
Time is most definitely a healer, but I think that you need to give it a little helping hand along the way.

When I was recovering I often wondered if I would be the same person again.
Would I have the same outlook on life?
Would my confidence be overshadowed by sadness and fear?
Would the panic deep in me ever be calm?

Traumatic events have the ability to drown you in grief but everyone has the ability to either sink or swim. I was lucky that I had amazing friends and family surrounding me, keeping me afloat during the dark days. However something did change in me, I became aware that life is for living, and living it to the full became my aim.

During the early days of recovery when I had trouble thinking past the next hour let alone the next day, week, month, year, and all I could think was ‘why me?’ – someone told me to focus on the positives of the things that I could control rather than the things that I couldn’t. They asked me to think about what adventures my new healed legs would take me on? They told me that I had an amazing opportunity to do something amazing.

Whilst immobile I took comfort in wine and cake, cake and wine  ……. and inevitably my weight ballooned.
In March this year I needed to go jeans shopping – most girls nightmare – and for me it truly was. I came home empty handed and vowed to lose weight.
I started by looking at my diet and changed my entire outlook on food, what I was eating and why. I soon learnt that my relationship with food in general was unhealthy, not just what I was consuming but why. As soon as I made some simple changes I regained my energy and found an inner willpower to want to be healthier because I actually felt better for it.
With my new found energy and determination I found my feet and started to run. As I said in my April blog, 5km and I became friends! The more I ran the more my confidence grew and the faster I wanted to be and I soon became competitive with myself. Soon 5km became 6km, then 7km …..
One May afternoon sat at home with my herbal tea and my iPad, I suddenly found myself signing up for the Blenheim 10km. Was I mad? Apparently not. Would I be able? Apparently so.
My little legs took me the whole 10km on Sunday 5th October in 1:03:28
At the finish line was my amazing husband, who wrapped is arms round me tightly as I cried.
In 29 months I made the transition from broken and faithless to determined and able. The emotions running through me came out like a waterfall. I cried with relief, with happiness and I felt that finally I was letting go of all of my anger.
How could I continue to be angry? I may have once been physically broken but inside, then and there, I was alive and kicking and giving life a huge high five. That is the most amazing feeling and without the events that made me look at myself in a different light to get to that moment I wouldn’t have been there.

Anything in life is possible. There are positives to be found in everything, sometimes you just need to look through the darkness to find the light.

So I am thankful for the curve ball that life threw me 29 months ago because today it has made me a better, happier and healther person.

(and as for the inner competitiveness in me – it signed me up for a half marathon in six months time …. eeeek!)

It’s All About The Shoes.

11 days short of 17 months later and I did the ‘never thought I’d do it again’ ……
I squeezed my swollen feet, balanced on my not so strong ankles and I actually did it. I wore heels.
Not dainty little kitten heels, no, real, proper, high to the clouds make me 6 feet tall heels. It was my birthday celebrations at Ascot and I simply wanted to feel glamorous. Over the past year I have been to numerous weddings, christenings and other joyous celebrations, always with pristine hair and makeup (well, as pristine as I can make it), pretty nails, shiny hair, but always flat shoes. Even at five months pregnant with twins I was in heels. I don’t even need them for my height, being 5ft 6 I’m plenty tall enough. However I enjoy wearing heels. They make me feel feminine and when in a posh frock I need heels. I suppose the age old saying ‘ you always want what you cannot have’ rings true. Perhaps if I wasn’t such a fan of feet numbing shoes, and believe me, my toes were numb, then it wouldn’t have bothered me as much. But totter down the road, over then grass and across the concourse I did and I loved every second of it. I didn’t care that I could no longer feel my toes, my ankles were swollen and I could feel muscles working in my thighs and my calves that I didn’t know I had, I felt totally and utterly womanly.
Six hours I lasted until I gave in and returned my sorry feet to the boring flats, but even so it wasn’t the fault of my inability to wear my beloved heels, it was all down to standing on a hill. That’s my excuse anyway and one that I will stick to.
When I first had my accident and I found myself awake in the early hours one morning trying to come to terms with the metal contraption attached my my leg, and with the internet at my fingertips on my new iPad, I felt the need to try and connect with people who knew the same fear that I was feeling, who would actually understand. I turned to the fountain of all worldly knowledge. Google.  After finding some rather peculiar things I came across a forum, a fixator forum just for people like me. In my first post I poured my heart out and anxiously waited for someone, anyone to reply.
And from across the globe in came a reply,
From behind my screen my world suddenly opened up to a group of people I now consider friends. I may not have met all of these people in the flesh, but we have bared our souls to each other, shared our deepest fears and cried together.
As it is now we are all frame free, but we still face fears and daemons that only we understand. I am very  lucky to be surrounded by friends and family in my life as I sit here on my sofa, but I also feel extremely lucky to have friends at my very fingertips whenever I need them.
The great thing about friendship is it’s not always about holding out your hand or the time you have been together, it’s the spiritual inspiration that that person gives you. The fact that they give you the ability to believe in yourself, to give you the strength to face your fears.