Royal British Legion

ColourHow do you describe a colour to someone who has never been able to see?

A strange way to start an article, a philosophical question.  The relevance will be revealed later but as to the question, I don’t know.  I’m sure that there is some empathetic way that some specialist or another could answer the question but I will remain, for now, none the wiser.

My previous two articles briefly covered my injury and my inability to cope until fairly recently.  The reason I am writing about something so deeply personal is because of an aim I am hoping to achieve.  When I had hit rock bottom, medical and legal bills had made me, sorry us (my wife whom I had left in 2008 stuck by me and nursed me through the hardships), penniless the Royal British Legion stepped in and helped us.  I vowed that I would repay the kindness and decided (a New Year’s Resolution of all things!) that I would do a sponsored walk to raise money for them.  I also promised them that I would write about it and needed to write the articles, describing my past, in order for some context.

Read the rest of the article on my own WordPress site here.

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Change

Change is easy to promise yourself, I know, I’ve done it hundreds of times since my injury.  The hardest part is actually doing the deed especially when you are in complete agony and you just want to curl up and die.  I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve just wanted to die, to be free of the pain, the misery and the memories that haunt me.  I’m not saying this lightly.  I’ve fallen down the pit of depression so many times, tried to crawl out only to be kicked in the teeth and fallen lower than before.

I’ll warn you now that this post sounds like the irritating whining of a selfish, woe-is-me weakling, which it is.  A friend once told me that pain is weakness leaving the body.  I have a lot of weakness!  I’ve given fair warning and read at your own mental peril!

Whilst I was in Headley Court the psychiatrist told me to start a journal in order for me to articulate my feelings in writing.  It didn’t take long for me to get bored writing, “Hurting and pissed off”.  The psychiatrist had a go at me and said I wasn’t trying, I asked him how hard he wanted me to try?  “Express your feelings” he told me.  “I have” I told him back.  Needless to say, that conversation didn’t get very far and neither did my ‘articulation of my feelings’.  As I mentioned in the first part, I’m not very good at showing my feelings.

Once again, the full story can be read at http://www.sothisisreality.com or click this link

The Start

How do you start a personal series of events when you are not a ‘sharing’ kind of person?  How do you be frank and honest for the first time in your life when you’ve always hidden behind a mask, a facade?  I’ve never allowed myself to get close to many people, having lived my life in semi-isolation from the majority of society as did many of my colleagues.  The work I did defined me and my outlook on life.  I did not share personal details.  Period.

That was then and this is now.  My life has changed to such a degree that trying to pretend that the way I lived my life before my injury is the way to continue is folly.  I’m not the person I was seven years ago and whatever dangers that I believed existed have paled into insignificance compared to what I now face daily.  I’ve decided that the personal me needs to explain some things because of something I have decided to do.  An undertaking and an obligation.  So the best place is to start not at the beginning but somewhere near the end; the last few weeks before I lost all sensation in the lower half of my body.

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The link takes you to my own website http://www.sothisisreality.com

Why a different website?  I wanted to have a website with unrestricted space and no adverts.  It still uses WordPress and you can still log in with your WordPress account, it’s just hosted by me so that I have full control over it.  Nothing else.

What Happens….?

What happens when the silence comes?  The moment that you no longer have any more words to say.  All the words that have come before are all that can be said.  What happens then?

What happens when there is nothing left to do?  All you could have done has been done.  There is no more to do.  It’s all been done.  It’s achieved nothing.  Anything else is superfluous and pointless, an exercise in futility?

What happens when you no longer want to move?  Movement brings more pain, more tears and achieves little.  You don’t go anywhere and you don’t want to go anywhere.  You want to stay still and remain that way.

What happens when the anger that fired you has gone?  When the fire that ignited every time you felt the pain has finally been extinguished by the futility of it all.  All that is left is the empty, hollow, cold space that it once occupied.  The fire is gone and with it the power to try and overcome the obstacles.

What happens when the belief you had has gone?  The once seemingly indefatigable essence of yourself has slowly petered out, chipped away by the constant failures and defeats.  The optimism constantly battered into submission; twisted and warped, it’s now a feeling of pointlessness and negativity.

What happens when everyone that supported you have drifted into indifference?  Their avoidance of what is replaced by what was; surreal and imagined, contact avoided and then ceasing altogether.  The pillar of support crumbling into dust and drifting on the wind.

The sweet temptation of nothingness beckons like the sirens of lore; the promise of no pain, no anguish and no more failures unimaginable and yet a thing of daydreams and tormented sleep.  To be free of everything, to shed all human frailties and weaknesses.  To be free of a tormented lifelessness and mere existence.

What happens then?

You dig deep.  Then you dig deeper.  You dig until you reach the beating heart of your existence.  You hold it and nurture it as if you would a dieing tree, it’s deep roots resisting the disease and drawing life into it’s core.  You open your eyes to the pain and suffering of those dear to you and feed off their love, their prayers and their hope.  You fuel the fire in your core until it begins to grow, its light slowly banishing the darkness and the doubts.  You find the beauty in a leaf and emulate its struggle just to stay on the tree.  You are that leaf and the tree is everything and everyone that loves you.