7 Sep 2012

Post 366: Being really worried about the Future. What on earth keeps us going?

For strters I haven’t got the answers! I never do. This is quite a recurring theme for this blog. Since the stroke happened a significant part of my day to day existence has been about getting back or at least feeling like I’m on equal terms with my old friends, family but most importantly, any new people that I meet. The idea that I might need a carer or anyone to do anything for me is utterly alien! I have to face facts though, I can no longer be independent. I can no longer be the physical equal of anyone able-bodied. Now, I’m pretty sure I’ve come to terms with this, at least a large part of it. Finding housekeepers that I can trust has been a big part of this. I hope Gary and Gwen live here for a long long time. The other part (here he goes again, yawn) is finding a better half. I used to believe, perhaps hopefully, probably romantically that there might be someone who would be able to accept the fact that the best I could be was an emotional and intellectual equal. Someone with their own life, their own job who shares my interests, admires my spirit, likes my friends and family, will either want to live here or lives nearby and drives, who could drop-in at will, not because I ask, but because they want to... I think this probably is hopelessly romantic. In almost 5 years of living here, nothing meaningful has developed. Physical equality seems to be the thing, emotional and intellectual equality don’t seem to count for much. A female friend of mine recently said when talking in general terms about a prospective partner for me, in this day and age that means ‘Someone who can drive her home when she's had a few drinks, cook her dinner when she's tired, someone who can look after her a bit – it’s not enough just to show willing or find a solution. I’ve always tried to get away from this notion that a partner would have to a certain extent be a carer to me, all of that stuff is out of the equation now I’ve decided that the upstairs of my house will always have to be a flat for housekeepers. Building some sort of annex is still a work in progress in my head. I’ll figure it out somehow, a big culture-shock is accepting never having a relationship with someone where we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. I really don’t think it’s wrong of me to miss that a lot! Now the last thing I want to be doing is trying to base anything on sympathy. Sympathy is a nice emotion, but I dont think it could or should be the basis for any sort of proper friendship or relationship. Important that I get that clear because although sympathy might be the first thought that this nonsense generates, I hope that it is rapidly replaced by empathy
Changing the subject, my training has resumed and a friend recommended I give some other therapy a go on my left arm (called bobath therapy). Again this is ‘try anything’ territory - the idea of having a basically useless left arm for life is too awful a thought. Once more people just need to understand that chronic fatigue saps your motivation to do anything, plus, recent sky series ‘Road to glory’

about Britain’s Olympic Cycling heroes, guys like Bradley Wiggins,

being good at something motivates you to train and practice so you get even better. You’ll be prepared to suffer great pain and make huge sacrifices. It’s why Steve Redgrave won 5 Olympic golds,

it’s why in my first year at college I used to even consider getting up at 630am because I was part of a sh*t-hot college rowing crew. If you’re sh*t at something, but train hard and get no better, what motivates you? I wish I knew. This is what I grapple with in my head daily
Despite feeling a little fed up with the yawning void which is the rest of my life,

people still appear to find me ok company – On Tuesday my friend, the legend that is Richard Lloyd,

vicar of next door Parish Claygate took me out for lunch – despite believing in God, the rest of what he speaks is totally sensical and more often than not hilarious. His story about being ‘parachuted’ into a nearby underperforming parish to fix it sounds a lot like ‘guerrilla vicaring’ to coin a phrase. Legend is an overused accolade – he is worthy of it.

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