I always try to focus on the future not on the past and it’s advice that I always like to give to others. After all we can’t change the past, it’s what we do in the present that can help influence the future. But sometimes the events of the past can be so overwhelming that no matter how hard you try it can be so hard to shake off the feelings and emotions that it brings back.
Two years ago today I woke up in ICU, very confused, full of wires, tubes and attached to different things. The last thing I remembered was going into surgery the day before for what was meant to be a straight forward operation and I was meant to be back home that evening. Things didn’t go quite to plan and I spent 10 hours in surgery. I was transferred to a hospital 50 miles away where I stayed for 6 1/2 weeks. I got infections, sepsis and pneumonia and spent another week in ICU. The physical scars healed well over time but the emotional and psychological scars have been a lot harder to heal and on an anniversary like this they have been re-opened.
I have been through 6 months of therapy which was incredibly helpful and helped me come to terms with what happened. I was given lots of incredible strategies (including writing this blog) to help me along the way.
Despite this I still find myself thinking “why did this happen”, “how did this happen”? Without going into too much detail, I now know that mistakes were made during surgery but no-one is willing to take responsibility for avoidable errors. That is f***ing annoying, and I’m not someone who gets angry!
I learnt than I am stronger and more resilient than I give myself credit for. I learnt that I am loved. I kind of knew this, but I guess I took it for granted. I truly appreciated every message, card, prayer and blessing that I received. My wife and family went to extraordinary lengths to help with my recovery even though it was overwhelming for them too and I will be forever grateful. I’ve learnt that looking after your mental health can be hard, very hard. Like physical health, keeping our mental health in shape takes commitment, takes time and it takes effort. To be honest it’s something that I’ve neglected for a while now. I’ve not written a blog and I’ve not updated my journal for a while. I guess I thought I had previously done enough to stay in shape. Writing this today I realise I haven’t, my mental health is out of shape, I’ve been lazy. The good thing is I now know what I can do to make it better. I know what exercises will work. So apologies in advance if my blog posts start to increase again!
Another important lesson I’ve learnt is to appreciate what we have around us. We are bomarded with so much negative shit that it’s easy to forget that this planet is beautiful and it’s filled with beautiful people.
Yesterday I decided that I didn’t want to spend the evening sat on the sofa going over the events of 2 years ago so I went for a walk up a hill and it was beautiful! This scenery is only 10 minutes from where I live and 10 minutes in another direction takes me to some stunning coastline.
I don’t know how close I came to not being here, it’s a question I’ve not really asked. I’m guessing I was close enough and I don’t want to come that close again for a long time. Life is for living and I have so much to look forward to!