self reflection

Hey guys,

It is that time of year again when our little ones all start their new school year and we lovingly pack them off with new uniform, new bags and coats, a wholesome pack lunch and a kiss and cuddle at the gates. We then turn around and you can see all the newbies, those with tears in their eyes as they send their babies off into the big world for the first time. And then there is the rest of us who have done this shit before and we have smiles of joy, relief in our faces and excitement in our blood that we can finally go home enjoy a cup of tea and that stashed pack of chocolate biccies you've been hiding in a secret place because you just don't want to bloody share.  I hear you!!!!

The start of the school year always brings a sense of new beginnings and a sudden burst of energy to try and better yourself. I have found myself doing quite a lot of self reflection these last couple of weeks and  I have come to the conclusion I am either A: totally insane, B: actually a hidden genius that has a natural talent for psychology and philosophy or C: both of the above.
 I spend a lot of time talking to myself (err creepy much!) I have full on conversations about my outlook on life, where I have made my mistakes and would I change them if I could go back. I have done this for as long as I can remember and often find myself talking out (out loud too which my hubby finds hilarious) past conversation or potential future conversation to try and figure out how I will or should have steered the opportunity. I think I do this because I am probably anxious or nervous about a situation and this is my way of trying to combat my feelings. I have been often told as I am sure many of you also have heard the saying 'that we all make mistakes and you either change them or you learn from them'. I have recently come to the conclusion this is utter bollocks!  Bear with me before you say this girl has lost her fucking marbles!

I don't believe we actually do make mistakes! We make choices. Yes, sometimes those choices may feel right at the time you make them like 'getting married, having kids, buying a house' and then years down the line those choices no longer seem like a good idea (by the way just kidding about my examples we all have those days when you wish you had stayed single, child free and not paid bills hahahah). But seriously we have all made mistakes, done something or made a decision we have later regretted and wished we could go back and change it. Ever found yourself saying 'if I knew then what I know now?' of course you have! But the point is you can't go back, unless you have some secret time machine that no one knows about and if you do then you are my new best friend and I have wine! You can't go back, you can't reverse your choice that you made at that moment in time. Can you learn from it and make a different choice?  possibly, in certain circumstances yes so long as that if the exact situation arises again and you are exactly the same as you were back then and its the exact same choice you have to make in the exact same circumstances then yes you can make a different choice knowing that the last time you were faced with this choice you made the wrong one. But seriously when ever is something exactly the same? never! Therefore it is practically impossible to learn from a mistake and make a better choice next time. The next choice you make will be under different circumstances, different people, different point in time, you will have changed as we do everyday so how are you going to ever know if your decision is a better one until you have made it and find out? This impression that we have to learn from our mistakes in order to make better choices is false, it sets people up for failure, it instigates anxiety about making sure you think about your choices rather than just making a decision, it makes you relive your past constantly to try and better your future. It sets an un-achievable standard. (Fuck my life that was a mouthful).

Since my diagnosis I have spent an awful amount of time reflecting on some of the life choices and decisions I have made in my life. I often found myself kicking myself (not literally you understand my fucking legs don't work hehe) about some of the bad choices (mistakes) I made believing that if I could go back and change them maybe my life would be different, maybe I would not of broke my spine and ended up disabled, maybe I would not of got hit by a car, maybe my childhood would of been better, maybe I would not of got cancer. But then I would not have known what I know now and therefore my choices would have been the exact same as the first time I made them because I obviously felt that they were the right choice at that time. Reflecting on them will never change that....I made the right decision for me at that time!. My future choices will be the right choices for me at the time I make them. So why should I beat myself up about them? why make yourself feel bad for making the right decisions even if they went a little shit? And there you have it, I hit a light bulb moment I have been torturing myself about mistakes that were not mistakes they were choices, choices that were right for me, this is where I am meant to be! This is where we are all meant to be right now at this moment!. I suddenly felt a huge weight had been lifted, I felt euphoric that actually I did good and I don't need to keep going over things in order to learn. Just be in this moment at this time.

Well that's just fucking common sense I hear you screaming at your computer screens....YES! YES! YES! you are absolutely right and it should be common sense for everyone nobody should have to live with regret ever!

So now with my philosophical/psychological crap bit out the way, how is the cancer warrior doing? Fucking AWESOME! I am still healing, still a bit battered and bruised, still struggling with a lot of everyday stuff as my healing skin is so tight but feeling awesome. Since my last update we haven't really had much in the way of hospital updates my next lot of big scans are due in November and hopefully they will be clear like the last one. Mentally I am doing a lot better. I feel stronger it seems the more people that tell me 'you are clear, no cancer present' the more it actually sinks in. Don't get me wrong there are moments when I cry my heart out, scream at the world because its so fucking unfair. Last week was a good example, I was trying to fill out some paper work regarding my cancer and some of the questions were about how it has effected me physically. 'Do you have any disfigurement?' Well how about, I have a brown bag permanently attached to my stomach that people presume is full of shit when its full of piss! I have scars running down my belly that look like a religious cross, I have a dip in my belly just to the side of where my belly button used to be that looks like a fat persons bum hole and don't even get me started on the fanny! 'Has your sexual relationship changed?' HAHAHAHA are you fucking kidding me! Yes, my husband is now screwing my stomach which now sits in a site that used to be a vagina! Instead of reaching an ecstatic orgasm I now get a belly tickle that I can't fucking feel! Foreplay....used to be a wonderful treat, the best part for a woman....nothing works, there are no nerves attached to the female organs that no longer exist, therefore those nice hormones that make you feel all sexy and horny THEY DON'T EXIST! when the nurses tell you it will be ok, sex is still achievable, you can still play and use touch, foreplay etc it will still be just as good....THEY LIE! The best part of foreplay is that they are that busy trying to make you feel something that you get un-disturbed viewing of the bedroom TV! Being cancer free is not all its cracked up to be and I did despite my positive outlook find myself very upset that I feel like I have lost so much. So I still am having down moments and they will keep cropping up I reckon for quite some time yet.

However, since my last rendezvous with you guys I have had some fab days....my favourite was quite recent when I went to the beach with my slave and the kids. It was a gloriously hot day, the kids were in and out of the sea and I was sat on a rug on the sand after being dragged onto the beach in my chair and hauling myself onto the floor watching, longing to be in there with them. Being paralyzed makes being on the beach quite difficult....wheelchairs and sand do not work! I have not actually been in the sea for over 20 years. The last time was in 1998 the year of my accident, we went to Greece at the end of the year, a bit of a break for the family after a hectic year with me in hospital and becoming disabled. My dad dragged my chair onto the beach and sat me at the edge of the water so I could dip my feet in the sea. I couldn't feel the water but could remember how it was supposed to feel.
 I so wanted to get in the sea, splash around with my kids, feel the water on my body. Didge (hubby) sat next to me as I explained how desperately I wanted to join in. We sat and thought how to make it possible. We had a body board for the kids...it wouldn't be strong enough to pull my weight but a proper skim board was a possibility.  Thanks to the wonder that is amazon we ordered one there and then and it would come the next day. We planned to come back in two days.

Bank holiday Monday came and I got my bikini on...yes I had it all on show, stoma bag and everything I am not ashamed of my body its amazing. We got to the beach I topped up my tan for a bit then decided it was time. I hauled my fat ass on to the skim board and between Didge and my eldest son they dragged the skim board and me to the water....I am sure for onlookers it was hilarious (chuckle brothers in action) but I did not give a toss. I got in that water, I sat in the waves, I felt the cold salty water on my face, I got sand fucking everywhere! I sat there for over an hour in that water, splashing with the kids, hugging Didge as we sat in the waves, absolutely loving the feel of mother nature on my body. It was amazing. Granted getting me back to where our stuff was, was like hauling a wet sea lion across the sand on a bit of wood and we giggled at ourselves trying to maneouver over the wet sand but I was so chuffed that I had done it I really didn't care what people were looking at. I felt like I had conquered the world, I had my overweight disfigured body on show for all to see whilst achieving something I had longed to do for over 20 years. 

And this is where I am right now, feeling calm, feeling strong, feeling like I can take on the world. My counseller who I really do not see as a counsellor but more of an inspiration and a very dear friend asked me where I am right now. My answer was that I feel like I am sat at the top of a mountain, just me, relaxed, calm, grounded right in that moment. Out in front of me I can see a new world at the bottom, a new place, an unfamiliar place and I am ready to make my descent into that new world. I am excited to discover what lies ahead, I am not worried about making mistakes or coming face to face with new choices nor am I bringing with me that anxiety of the mistakes/ choices I have made in the past. They will rest at the other side of the mountain in the past and will remain in my old world. I feel like cancer has given me a new start, I have changed, I have grown as a person, I need something more that what I have had, this is the time for a new career, new focus, new attitude, new determination. I know I can do anything, I feel pretty invincible right now, I have no idea what is in this new world but I can't wait to find out.

Its been a long piece this time and I am sure most of you are on at least your 3rd glass of wine. But I hope that if you take anything away from this its that you are not expected to learn from or avoid your mistakes, you will only make new choices that are right for you at that time. Go and find the top of your own mountain to look out at a new world from the view is amazing.

Lots of love
Amy
xxxx












Comments

  1. Mum!! You missed capital letters. For someone who has an English degree your grammar is appalling hehe. Love you really. It was nice to see you smile and be genuinely happy for once in a long long time. But fuck my life it was a pain in the arse tryna drag you back up and with the stone underneath I think I left half the skin on my hand back at Hornsea and the state of the bottom of that skim board Jesus Christ. Love you loads xx

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