Part 1 of 2 – Inner roads
It’s been a crazy couple of years, and in between emergency helicopter flights, A&E, surgeries, lockdowns, tests, scans, injections, tubes, drains, and sitting in hospital rooms watching people I found myself wondering what the term “road to recovery” really means.
I can’t really speak for anyone else but here’s my take.
Most people think of recovery as the physical side of things, especially when you are spending a lot of time in the health system.
The physical side of things are what you can see, the stitches, scars, functionality and the ultimate goal of being able to do the things you used to be able to.
I think this is actually the easy part because the body does this naturally, others can see it, you can see it and the world can see it, so everyone makes the assumption that you are doing ok and everything’s fine…
The next corner is much much harder, the mental grind.
After a serious injury or sickness, sooner or later you start to physically look ok again. And that’s when all the invisible demons come a calling; loss of confidence, isolation, fear, uncertainty, lack of pride, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and the feeling that the world doesn’t care.
All invisible and usually undetectable as the person tries to put on a brave face for the world and soldier on.
There are so many reasons for this, because they don’t want to seem more of a burden, because they are embarrassed, they can’t get their shit together, they do it for their family, they put others first.
This is a very very long stretch of road and incredibly difficult, it’s also a time when you need family, friends and kindness the most. So, watch out for it if you have loved ones recovering, because no matter what they say they will need you. Love them harder, be better friends, be that person when it’s over, keep walking alongside even when they seem ‘fine’; this is when it is really needed.
My last insight I think is like coming home..
After the physical healing, and the mental grind comes the part that you don’t know you need until someone close sees it, points it out and trust me, it’s often not a well-received observation.
This has been the hardest part because it’s easy to brush off as just needing time and space. But for me, I had to accept; I had lost my spark, my drive, my joy, my hustle, my mojo, my space in the world…
I don’t really have the answer to this but what I find helps is to keep busy, focus on doing the things you love, spend time with good people, find things that bring you joy and follow your passions…
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