I was discharged from Harefield exactly one year ago yesterday.
I still cannot quite believe how far I've come. I remember so vividly feeling nervous, shaking like a leaf (the medication doses combined with my muscle wastage caused this) my speech was slow and hesitant (something which I think anyone who has spoken to me recently would agree is no longer a problem) and I was scared; scared of what lay ahead, of the unknown. It was an exciting but terrifying moment, leaving those winding safe grey and blue corridors, leaving a room which consisted of a bed, a chair and a timetable of daily monotony.
I knew what was coming each day and when and why, but more importantly I didn’t really have to know, as there was always someone there of the medical profession to double check everything anyway. Becoming institutionalised is, in my opinion, a well-established phenomenon. Desire for your freedom begins to give way to fear of it, and dislike of your restrictions is disolved by comfortable routine.
I needn’t have feared; life at home was more wonderful than I could have imagined, and what the psychologist had said was true; you don’t need to worry that you have lost your “place”, your role as the sick one, as your new role will quickly flourish and grow and feel normal faster than you think.
Life since 16th March 2007 has moved at such speed that I feel like I’ve been flying. I have packed as much as I possibly can in every single day, firstly as I just want to grasp each and every opportunity with both hands but also I think to some extent because I still find it hard to let go of that slight underlying fear that this magic carpet might be whisked away…I don’t want to waste it whilst it’s here.
This has been a monumental year, and I’ve done a million and one things I never dreamed I ever would or could. To round off a year out of hospital in style, it is my birthday tomorrow. Amusingly a year ago having been firmly instructed “have a nice quiet weekend, not too many people, not too much going on” my mother threw a party for 100 people in a slight (and possibly inherited) fit of over excitement.
This year will be much more serene (am a working grownupperson) but equally as special. I say it all the time and I imagine it’s becoming so very boring to read but there are no other words; I am such a lucky lucky girl.
2 days ago