Sunday 7 – 7 Things I’ve Learnt Since Breaking My Spine

I’ve been feeling fairly emotional in the last few weeks about today. It’s been one year since breaking my spine and I just feel kind of weird about it. I broke down in tears after a particularly bad pain day, because I’m still in all this pain a year later. I just felt so fed up but then I had a hug with Ali and he reminded me of what I’ve been saying to myself for the past 12 months. I may be in pain but I’m still here and I’m still walking. What happened to me was bad enough but it could have been a lot worse! I’ve also really grown as a person in the past year, my opinion on life has changed and I’m truly grateful. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I’m glad it happened, it changed a lot and I didn’t have the best year BUT I am really proud of myself, how I’ve reacted and what I’ve learnt.

You can have all the ridged plans you want, but life doesn’t work that way.

IMG_3640

Before the accident, I had a plan of how my life would go and it would go that way. I was like I’ll graduate then and I’ll go straight to my masters, then my Phd. I’ll have a house by this time, a dog, a child, another child, I WILL HAVE CONTROL. I learnt after the accident that life can throw ANYTHING at you, there was a point where I physically couldn’t walk. Of course, I didn’t plan that, no one plans almost losing the ability to walk. It made me realise that I can’t have this idea of infinite control, so I’ve let go a little. Things will happen as they do, I only have so much control.

Stop being so hard on yourself! 

Recovery was hard, super hard. I constantly get told by my physiotherapists, pain specialists, lecturers, family, Ali that I need to stop being so hard on myself. They’d remind me all the time this wasn’t a small break, this was a huge part of my body trying to fix itself. So what if I put on weight, if I didn’t get the top grade in my class. I realised striving to be great is good but I don’t have to be perfect all the time.

The human body is a beautiful and amazing thing.

For a long time after the accident and sometimes still now I resented my body. I hated that it had broken in such a simple fall, I hated the stretch marks that had bloomed all over my thighs, I hated the fact people commented on how much weight I’d put on and I hated that I didn’t fit into any of my clothes. I had a realisation at a point that I just thought my body has been doing so much work. It’s literally been healing the main pillar in my body that hold everything together, that’s amazing.

img_6822-1

When you’re sick enough, you can cope with your hatred of needles/hospitals/ claustrophobia. 

I still hate needles, I will always hate needles BUT when you’re sick enough (like when I was in the hospital earlier in the year) you get on with it. I still don’t like hospitals (who does) but now it’s just another place I have to go sometimes. I won’t lie having my MRI and CT scans were pretty nerve wracking and claustrophobic but the people running them understood that. Basically you can get through a lot more than you think you can.

The gym is better than any therapy session and any religion. 

IMG_5884

If you’d have asked me a year ago about loving the gym I would have laughed at you, now I’m stressed when I CAN’T go. The gym is a love and an obsession and I can’t wait to get back into routine and slowly keep building my muscles and be in so much better shape than I was a year ago.

It’s ok to have days where it all feels like too much. 

You’re only human, you need these days, it’s okay!

The people who stick around are the ones that are meant to be there. 

img_6433

My relationships changed a lot after the accident, I lost a lot of people and I gained some others. More than anything I learnt that the people that are meant to be there will be. I also learnt that some people are in your life for a certain amount of time and that’s okay too. I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason.

My Last Reading Week!

10679580_10154263450503206_6048844589280864096_o

Today marks the start of the last Reading Week (although now they call it Enrichment Week) I will have. Of course I’ll still have them while I’m a postgrad but I won’t have the free time I do now, because I’ll be working a full time job too. Dun, dun, duuuuuuuuuun. Now I’m in my third year I don’t have a choice but to use this week to get organised, productive and tick things off of my ever growing to do list. That said, I’m not allowed to go mad this week because of my recent diagnosis as well as having to deal with some spine pain.

It’s going to be good for me to have a week to go at things my own pace, do some things I enjoy and go and see my family at the end of it. I’ve already got more done over the weekend than I planned, simply because I was relaxed and just spent some time with myself, thinking about what I want and how I’m going to go about it. Being me, of course I have a to do list of all the things I want to do this week, which is mostly assignments I need to get cracking on or stuff I need to do around the house. I guess I really want to also take the time to take care of myself and make things easier in the long run. The more I get done this week, the less I have to worry about later on.

Of course, there might be some non course reading involved this week too…

Guess who’s heeeeeeeeere!!

2015-07-31 18.13.19

Today after frantically cleaning and tidying my flat in the past few days my baby sister arrived to stay with me for a few days. I got the surprise of my little cousin coming to see me when Sum’s was dropped off which just made it even more special. We spent the afternoon after my cousin and Mum left pretty bored. It was too late to go out and do something but too early to just crash for the evening. So we did what any normal pair of sisters do, we bought Pizza, had a play fight and watched Netflix. Sorted.

After a few hours of doing nothing we had to do something before we killed each other (we can’t have that on day one). So we decided to make cakes, but not just any cakes. Hold the freaking press because we made PEPPA PIG CUPCAKES.

2015-07-31 20.57.18

Today might have been slow but from tomorrow morning I’ve got so much for us both to do giving her a look around the music buildings, going into town shopping, grabbing a quick dinner and then off to see Paper Towns tomorrow night! Eeek. Then spend more time laying around and messing around before watching the Bike Race on Sunday (Cyclists. Damn Cyclists.) visiting the comic book shop and seeing what’s up around the town centre, having dinner and then she’ll be heading home…followed by me on Tuesday.

For now we’re sat in matching PJ bottoms, both on our laptops stuffed with pizza and cakes and all that jazz, hopefully we’ll sleep at some point too.

10 things I’ve learnt in the last month

Yesterday was 1 month since I fell off Rose, I couldn’t believe how quickly one month had gone. Although I still have a month until my next spine appointment, I will have hopefully made some more improvements. Where am I at the moment? I’m still taking very strong painkillers and have trouble getting up but I can walk that little bit further than before. I was quite poorly yesterday night (hence no blog) but I wanted to use today’s to think about some of the things I’ve learnt this month while I’ve been resting. Enjoy 🙂

1. Fear of falling is never a good thing

When I fell from Rose, I wasn’t scared. I knew that I had to just let go, it was only a fall. Ok, yes I ended up with much more than just an initial bruise BUT I want to get that feeling back. I want to get that feeling where I’m not scared of falling because I can’t just go around scared whenever I ride. I kind of want to apply it to other areas of my life too. I’m a total perfectionist, I’m absolutely terrified of failing, especially academically. So maybe I can relax a little? Just enough so I’m not a huge ball of stress all through third year.

10407210_10153613102758206_918236493107446324_n

I will get back to being this fearless on a horse! 

2. How lucky I am

I am walking. I am not permanently in a wheelchair and I’m so grateful. The lack of finding the fractures meant I went back to my normal life, I could have very easily ended up paralysed. I’ve been cared for by the people who matter and I’m still getting there but it looks like I’m going to recover from this, for that I am so,so lucky.

3. I want to be financially secure so I can afford private healthcare once I’ve graduated

I don’t want the NHS to be privatised because for most of my life it’s been there and I’m glad we can rely on a National System. That said, I wasn’t treated well with this serious injury, I’ve had to wait and push and be in extreme pain for appointments and I still don’t have my back brace never mind that the fractures were missed. It’s one of my goals in life to have private healthcare because I know I will be treated with the best possible care, it’s sad but true.

4. I have lots of wonderful people around me 

My family is incredible and so are my friends. I’ve had this outpouring of love from all of my friends and family. Cards have been sent, I’ve been accompanied to hospital, Ali’d had to help me move, I’ve been pushed in my wheelchair and made to smile about it, comments,presents and messages. I feel so loved and appreciated everything so, so much.

IMG_2616 girls! IMG_1806

5. Sometimes it’s ok that things don’t go to plan 

As you all know I was meant to go to Prague with Eleanor and Dani this month. I’d been counting down for so long and I couldn’t go. I was devastated to say the least and I cried, a lot. The thing is although I didn’t get to go to Prague, I got invited to the Society Awards instead and saw my society win an award, as well as another one of my best friends win an award. Am I still sad that I missed out on time with El and Dani? Of course I am but at least I still got to smile with two of my other best friends.

IMG_2819

6. You can always embarrass yourself in front of your partner, no matter how long you’ve been together 

Ali and I have been together for seven years and yet I still find ways to embarrass myself. I’ve been taking showers as I can stand up in the warm water, it helps the pain. I decided my legs NEEDED shaving so I sat down in the bath…then realised I was stuck. Ali then had to come and lift me out of the bath, it was a beautiful moment. I was so embarrassed, love huh?

7. There are other ways to let out pain and frustration 

In the past when I was in the darkest parts of depression I didn’t know how to let my pain and frustration out in a positive way, now it’s a lot better. I write a lot or I draw sometimes. There are so many things that you can do to let it all out, I’ll be writing a post in the future about it.

IMG_4405

8. Friends are priceless

I couldn’t have kept my spirits up the way I have without my friends, they’ve been incredible. They’ve visited or messaged me and kept my spirits up with I’ve been very low and they haven’t gotten frustrated when it takes me so long to walk anywhere.Thank you to all of you, I love you so much.

9. A lot needs to be done for people who are permanently in wheelchairs 

I’ve gone out in my wheelchair twice and I’ve noticed this. While the majority of people have been nice and helpful I’ve been moaned at my people in cars for not being off the road the second the light turns green for them, I’ve been sighed at when someone needs to change their path because of my wheelchair and I’ve been walked in front of. This is where angry Chloe happens who doesn’t give a monkeys, I usually shout after them. It’s been so hard getting about in the wheelchair, to get up the pavement is a major issue, getting into shops, getting around in general! More needs to be done for people in wheelchairs to make their lives easier!

10. Pain doesn’t mean the end of happiness 

I’ve been pretty low through all this but I’ve still managed happiness. I can stil laugh with my friends and I’ve adapted things. I’m not saying I don’t get upset, frustrated and angry, but I can still achieve happiness even if it’s harder.

11094218_10153902203308206_7298937570844024406_n

Still smiling 

Working on it, thoughts, plans and blogging

Inspirational-Quotes-true-writers-31646600-403-500

Yay for motivational slightly girly looking quotes! I thought a lot today about what I wanted my blog to be. I’m not a girly blogger or really interested in fashion, to be fair if I posted what I was wearing every day you would all get pretty bored I think…other than the awesome T-Shirts (oh Primark you are so good to me). I don’t know where exactly I fit in the blogging world after all this blog is a year and a half old now, so shouldn’t I know?

I had today off and realised I wrote nothing yesterday, then panicked a little. So I went to town bought some new notebooks and a few books…opps. I wanted to feel like I was doing something rather than looking at my laptop. So I started thinking am I writing what you guys want to read? Will I ever get a huge following? Am I interesting at all?!? Let’s face it, we all want to know that what we’re writing is actually being read. Then I stopped myself, I blog for me mainly and I’m starting to figure out what you guys like too. You all love lists apparently, which is fine with me because I’m a little obsessed with them.

So I decided I would write today, although I didn’t know what on. I wanted to write about Leelah Alcorn, something I am working on, but I need to find the right words which haven’t happened yet. I also told myself to stop freaking out because I missed one day. So I started googling things to make me think or just quotes I liked and I found this one, about doing things.

It’s kind of what I’m doing step by step, take last night for example. Last night was the first night I had spent completely alone since halls last year and I was ok. I was a little lonely going to sleep because I like cuddles but I was pretty good. I read for a long time, got some cleaning done, saw my friend Joe. So instead of thinking I can’t stay in this flat alone I changed it to a can, and I’m bloody ecstatic about it. As for the dreams into plans thing, I’m working on that I’m focused on my future, my band, my well being and a project I’m working on.

Basically I’m working on it.

Note: This image was found online and I do not own the rights.