Tonight, exactly two weeks after I was fighting for my life in intensive care, I got dressed in something other than pink PJs, and left the hospital for the first time. We wheeled me down the road, to a gorgeous little Italian restaurant which I have had many a happy meal in, and was my first outing after last years big collapse as well. As we sat down and raised our glasses, I felt very strange indeed. A huge mixture of relief, tears, excitement and fear, of what has happened¸ what could have happened, where I was, where I am now, and of what is still to come.
I have been terribly over excited about this outing and gearing up to it all week, and it really was a perfect evening. My pain was well controlled, and my appetite managed to kick in (funny how that happens when I spot lobster on the menu…) and so brave little me admirably managed three courses (poor father is now probably examining his wallet in a wistful manner wondering quite where my three mouthfuls of everything appetite had gone to!). We had the most gorgeous meal, and it was just so so lovely to be sitting there with my wonderful family. Who are stronger than Mr Strong from Strongland as my mother would say.
I knew I would find it hard afterwards, and I have done since being back. I think it is the build up and adrenalin, and of course that slight bit of reintegration into the real world and normality is a reminder of what I have been away from and what I nearly lost. So essentially I am now in a profound but content mood, and decided to blog instead of sitting staring at the wall, which whilst it is a lovely baby blue colour and does have a row of chippings on it which resemble an alligator if I tip my head to one side and squint a lot¸ isn’t the most stimulating of things to be concentrating on!
A number of people have mentioned to me how they find reading my blog a strange experience, as I have a tendency to write about sometimes quite horrific and/or sad things but then will drop in a touch of humour. This has never really struck me as weird before, but on thinking about it I think we (society) often feel that things are either bad therefore sad, or good therefore happy etc. I was talking about this with Abby the other night – I cannot think of a single time in life when you will get a simple stream of matching emotions. For example, at the most joyous of occasions, such as a wedding (not that I have weddings on the brain due to a dear friend of mine getting married in a weeks time!) there will be moments of tears, and touches of sadness amongst all elation and celebration. At a funeral, there will be a moment of laughter as someone recalls a funny memory or story, perhaps shared through tears of heartache.
Life is varied and complex, and for me that brings part of its great beauty. You can be crying with laughter one minute, and laughing through your tears the next, but I think what is important is allowing that and accepting that as part of life. Also viewing it in this way makes it harder for life to knock you down, when you see it as a collection of tiny fragments rather than one great solid slab, so even with huge black clouds everywhere a sliver of sunshine is bound to creep in somewhere. I try to think like that as it makes it easier to face the whole torrent of emotions which sometimes flood at me on an evening such as this, as it seems more natural that whilst I am elated and content to be at this stage compared to a week ago, I also feel a small ache of sadness at what the events represent as far as my health is concerned. Time is running out. And I have said it many times for the sake of media interviews and awareness raising, but of course sadly it isn’t just for effect, it is true. But I have every single chance of being called tonight as I did last night and the night before¸ and will look forward, take one day at a time, and keep concentrating on small goals, such as getting myself better and of course getting across that finish line!
All we can ever do surely is to keep on keep on, and live it and love it to the best of our ability? Oh and please don’t feel bad if you find yourself laughing at something I have written, unless it is at my spelling and/or grammar in which case feel very bad indeed as that is wrong and not at all funny and you should berate yourself entirely.
Click here to see my first outing! Click here to see a photo of the best family in the history of the entire world.