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- Post 224: Swearing:Thinking the unprintable, this ...
- Post 225: The story so far (ish)
- post 226: I won't go and watch crap
- Post 227: 'Cat'astrophe averted and even better ne...
- Temporary post - too long to post on my facebook w...
- Post 229: Boiling over slightly
- Post 230: Some gigs again: Kasabian
- Post 231: Keeping busy
- Post 232: Taking nothing for granted
- Post 233: Taking Friends to the Proms
- Post 234: My new brain
- Post 235: Bank Holidays aren't the same
- ▼ August 2010 (12)
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5 Aug 2010
Post 225: The story so far (ish)
So, I started this little melodrama in January 2008, some 31 months ago and about two years after the stroke ( I couldn't have started before, I was too f*cked up) I started it because I felt trapped in hospital and needed an outlet but it has developed a couple of other uses, foremost among these was I used to get a ton of emails simply saying 'How are you?' or 'so what have you been up to ? or worse than that people used to ask these questions to my face. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing and hearing from people but as talking and typing are so slow, frustrating, exhausting and often humiliating (ie I sometimes forget what I was even doing in the morning!) I thought this was quite a good way to tackle this head on, it's also a pretty good way to gauge if someone genuinely gives a sh*t about you although it's sometimes pretty disturbing to find that people who you thought cared or should care simply can't be *rsed.
Maybe this is too dull, or it doesn't always make light or easy reading, especially as being light and airy or beating about the bush are not specialities of mine. My second reason for writing is to try and prove to the world that if I am to look like this disabled loser, I want to prove that I'm trying to do something with my life and that before this I wasn't a f*ck-up. I hate blowing my own trumpet but I had a great life before this and I am upset I've lost it. I'm tired of people telling me to be grateful for what I've got, I've said thankyou for it a million times, what I have is nothing compared to what I've lost. Trying to find and live out some slender positives in the face of this huge immovable, unchanging negative lump is not only bloody hard, it is unrealistic and stupid, There is no bright side to look on – noone in my shoes could do it, which is why I get incensed by the myriad people who say 'try to look at the positives, I've tried, I prefer reality and logic. I have been told in the past that I need to be more 'emotionally open'. That's fine until the emotions point to an unrealistic solution. Emotions are important when understanding humans, and I'm in danger of sexism here but it's always been women I've known (even Germaine Greer would admit it's women who are the more emotional sex) who have sometimes let their emotions carry them away and let things get out of control or as out of f*cking proportion as some football fans were about the world cup, it is one of the many reasons I have fallen in Love in the past – my response to female emotion sometimes, just sometimes brings out the best in me , other times, I have learned to try and listen rather than try and find a logical solution. Anyway, this isn't the time or the place for this. Back when I started writing this it was supposed to be a 'dear diary' type thing with opinions and themes running quite near the surface. I was not well enough to have started before January 2008 and it is arguable I have ever been well enough given how much it takes out of me to just get out of bed every day. I think the reason I do anything with life is to avoid boredom and because I feel I owe it to people, even before my stroke life was about avoiding boredom and pain at all costs (how can people be long distance runners?!) and to me not being bored meant laughter and love which is why having a laugh and being in love was everything to me then and it is everything to me now. In the language of Billy Connolly (I'm not just going to start swearing)
'Beigeness will not be tolerated' but I refuse to be like Madonna who apparently just tells people to their faces if they are boring her (apparently, according to Rupert Everett's autobiography), he's such a bitchy queen, and there may have been a couple of occasions when I've said 'Dilligaf' to my parents about their latest round of golf or the flower-arranging in church (Dilligaf is borrowed from bawdy Australian comedian Kevin 'bloody' Wilson and = Does It look like I Give A F*ck. Rude it may be, but it's less rude and disingenuous than saying 'reeeeeeeaaaally?' sarcastically, it also takes less effort and they know what it means.
Reading bits of it back does make me smile and well up in equal measure. My friends have consistently been amazing and I have often been at pains to thank people, because that is the way I have been brought up -posh or not, you are always grateful to people for everything they ever do for you and I am grateful to each and every person and I f*cking mean it. That said there are people that live their lives expecting gratitude which makes it hard to know where the hell you stand with them – especially now, when doing anything is exhausting. I don't even know how I manage this?!
Looking back it is obvious how terrified I was but at the same time needed change to make me feel I was getting anywhere, leaving hospital was a prime example. Going from a comparatively sheltered environment to semi-independent living, given how much help I needed in hospital to suddenly rely on as yet unfound carers, I was convinced I was going to die (I've always been one for melodrama). Anyhow, I hope the blog has shown how I've muddled my way through my life falling apart, making most of it up as I go along. Some might say this is no great change from my old life.
In my old life I could pretty much do as I pleased, I had freedom and independence, well as much as having quite a responsible job and a girlfriend who kept me on a tight leash would allow. What can I say, I was in love but I was too young to realise what I had but she wasn't, she was 4 years older and wanted to settle. I wasn't ready, and my DJ-ing hobby was taking off, sometimes with a gig a week, it was smalltime but fun as hell. So life was this huge stressful balancing act, between work, Natasha, my existing friends and my new friends and I didn't get the balance right. I loved my job though and as long as it paid the mortgage I was happy. I didn't have to work anything like the hours I had to work in the f*cking city and I got to manage people. Working for John Lewis had it's idiosyncracies but it was a great place to work. To this day it is the fact that John Lewis pay me a disability pension that I can afford food, heat and light. It also gives me great pleasure that one of my best friends (Vicky Denning) chose to work at John Lewis (she is now personnel director) because of the way they treated me after I had my stroke (half of the directors came to visit me in hospital and the Chairman came to my rehab ward in summer 2006). I felt honoured and was a boost to my rock bottom self-esteem. That would have been about four years ago now and just thinking of it makes me realise they valued me then, it is so hard for me to look in the mirror now and understand why they bothered. I may be able to sit in my wheelchair now and hold my head straighter now than I could four years ago but I've never felt any better and all I can see is this dark abyss of tiredness stretching out until the end of my life whenever that may be.
What I have therefore tried to do is keep in touch with my existing friends and use every penny I have to try and eke out an existence. I have pretty much worked out that the only thing I can do with my life is write somehow, I did try with limited success to do an internet creative writing course but it turned out to be sh*t (hasn't my technical jargon improved?) so I am now getting help from a friend to start a mentorship. I am starting Yoga next week to help me with my breathing and I continue to do an hours physical exercise everyday. On top of this my former housemate Claire got me into transcendental meditation which together with the Yoga will help me quiet my overactive mind and chill the hell out. I also spend as much as my evening and weekend time going to concerts or watching live stand-up because sitting at home feeling like sh*t is boring. This is not the life I imagined and there are still many holes in it. The biggest by far is finding a girl to share everything I have who likes my company, sense of humour and the fact that I was nicknamed 'the anaconda' at college (I can't believe I just wrote that!), this is hard because I reckon I'd be fine if physical appearance didn't count for anything, anyone who says they don't is lying. I'd be fine if this were true, and I wouldn't worry so much, but I know what I'm like, I was a serial monogamist between the ages of 18 and 30 (not with the same girl, don't be silly), my cheeky banter was ok and hopefully still is but I have been cut down and left to wither. A friend of a friend talked me down from my heartbreak but now I am a lost soul losing what's left of my dignity and what's more I've given up internet dating because blokes in wheelchairs get ignored. Anyway, as long winded as this post has been it tells the story leaving out most of the specifics.