I watch the rain trickle down the window panes, the light grey sky. The hint of red on the mountain sides keeps gaining ground, Autumn is here at last.
A whole season has gone by since my accident. A mixed bag of Summer.
And whilst I wouldn’t willingly want to live through another one of these, I’ve also been surprised by some positive developments. In fact, it’s a terribly grating cliché, and I would probably lump anoyone who dared point it out, but hardship may have made me a better person.
It homed in in a very real manner a few things I knew about in a general, abstract way. Which is both enlightening and humbling.
- Pain, of the severe, chronic kind turns you into an unrecognisable, moody puppet, whose sole preoccupation is to make it stop, or at least take the edge off it. I am so thankful to be on the other side of this particular experience, and have renewed respect for the poor souls who cannot escape it.
- Being disabled, whether physically, mentally or both if you’re exceptionally lucky, is a joy that keeps on giving. Not only do I have to cope with practical consequences in a world that’s pretty unforgorgiving, I also have to fight for my rights, field the repelled, curious, pitying looks, and assumptions about my mental abilities or alcohol consumption. And I am lucky that my assortment of disabilities are a) pretty minor, b) mostly invisible, c) hopefully temporary.
- I will no longer be fooled by the happy headlines about people who make a miraculous recovery, against all odds and the likes: They’re not automatically superheroes with out-of-this-world mental strength. Behind my mostly positive, gritted-teeth façade lies a whole heap of why me-s? What if it doesn’t get better-s? I can’t live like this. I’m never gonna manage. I’m tired and just don’t want it to have happened, and other assorted miseries. It’s a grieving process.
- I am super duper extra lucky that my parents, siblings, cousins, and many friends were (in fact still are) there to care for my children and me, help with practicalities, and most of all to pick me up every time I threatened to drown in the aforementioned miseries. Self-helps magazines are annoyingly right: Forget about money, status or appearances, only strong, sincere, varied relationships really help when the going gets tough enough.
- Dying is pretty unpleasant in its process and awfully final in its result. Generally speaking, trying it out for a (short) bit, helped the things I used to give myself knots in the head about become all relative.