This week has been a funny one; not funny ‘ha ha‘ but intriguing and had a very reflective tone….
The week started with an interview. Two years ago, I was contacted by Scope, the leading disabilty charity and asked if I would be part of a new survey into people with “acquired disabilities“. Of course I said yes and had my initial interview with Phil Hastwell, coordinator of the “Our lives, our journey” research two years ago. That consisted of questioning regarding my acquired disability, what had happened, how I felt about it, what help had I had to adjust and what did I think that the charity could do to help people with newly acquired disabilities.
It was absolutely fascinating and really made me think about the situation I was in. I had been bounced into this world of disability and pain through an injury and it was all so new, so distressing and so scary. It made me consider also, how I felt about my new identity; did I consider myself to be a disabled person and what did my future now really hold for me? I wrote down all my feelings and fears about my future in my blog post “It’s been a week of binging, graphing and reflecting”
Two years ago, I had to reflect on so many things; how the life I thought I would have was now totally different, that a different future was going to unfold where maybe walking around with my grandchildren was gone, that playing dolly/Lego/power rangers/whatever with them on the floor was gone and how the hell was I going to be any help to my children when their children came along?
It left me in a reflective mood, keen to think of a hundred ‘what if’s‘ but also helped me to change the narrative around my disabilty – it wasn’t the future I was expecting but that didn’t make it a bad one either.
Two years later, this time, the interview had a much more reflective tone; how had I been over the last two years, what had I done, where had I been and how did I see myself now?
In some ways this was harder than the first one, not because the questions themselves were different but because to answer them fully meant going back over some painful things. We discussed my struggle to adapt and identify as a disabled person but we also discussed my counselling and said how much it had helped me gain some control back over my life, to start changing the ‘narrative‘ and change the way I think about things.
But as the questions continued, a theme started to stand out to me……
Looking back of the last two years I did feel that I’d achieved things; I’d been away on holidays, I’d joined a few local community groups (the Woodland Management Group is my favourite, when I’m in my new wheelchair my secateur and long handled scythe talents are a sight to behold!), my blog was going well and I (along with the ever loving P) have adapted and settled into our new accessible home. Achievement was the theme and it just hit me how far I had come from that very scared and unhappy woman.
The interview lasted for around 2hours (yes,I know, I talk a LOT 🥴) but it went so quickly and once we’d finished the set questions, I sat up with a big grin on my face. Phil asked me why and I just replied “I’m just very proud of myself”.
Not a bad way to spend a Monday eh!