After not having worked for nearly 5 months due to my accident, it was with relief and trepidation that I would return to my old team and the project I was forced to leave.
Heading back in for my first day was something of a relief, but as the train neared my city station. The butterflies in my stomach began their war dance the nerves and jitters hit home.
Not that I should have had any concerns about what my role was and If I was still capable of processing all the information which would be dumped in my lap over the coming weeks. It was more if my mind would be able to cope with the social part of the job.
Friendship and caffeine got me through the day, only just. I was so exhausted on the trip home and struggled to stay awake, hoping I wouldn’t fall asleep and miss my station.
I have been back a few days now and it’s getting easier. And it will eventually be a normality for me in the coming weeks.
My life has become much busier now that I’m back at work. I still need to continue with all my rehabilitation exercises, get to hydrotherapy and see the physio a few times a week.
Busy weeks ahead, but at least I’m moving in the right direction. And that forward direction will continue. Going backwards is not an option. Not now. Not ever.
As my physio said. ‘You broke your back in a cycling accident less than 5 months ago. And you’re going back to work. Don’t be so hard on yourself.’
As much as his words made perfect sense, it’s still tough at times to see the big picture. And that’s something we all need to do.
During one of my rehabilitation sessions at the hydrotherapy pool, I struck up a conversation with an elderly gentleman.
The conversation quickly moved onto the reason why he was at the pool and how he had sustained his injuries.
It’s not always a bike or car accident that can leave a person struggling to be the person they once were.
Situations vary from person to person, and in his case, it was frim having a lung removed so he could continue with life.
The first thing I thought of was either cancer or a smoking related illness. But it was neither. It was all to do with taking very regular flights for business. He suffered a severe blood clot during a flight and the flight was diverted to the closest airport so he could be transferred to hospital for emergency surgery.
The surgery changed his life dramatically, but he never gave up. He would continue to push through the physical and mental pain to get his life back on track. And he did, using yoga and hydrotherapy.
He then said PMA.
The blank expression on my face told him I had no idea what the TLA (Three Letter Acronym) meant.
Positive Mental Attitude.
I nodded and understood.
Physically we can get over many bodily breaks and injuries, but without the right positive mental attitude, we will never fully heal.
Mind over matter is not just a saying, it’s a fact. I know this from experience. But, you need to want to heal. Without that want, the chances of a full recovery are much lower.
Always try to keep a positive attitude, and you will see the difference. Trust me on this one.
As the days, weeks and months all slowly slipped by, my rehabilitation continued to become more intense as did all my exercise sessions.
With each passing week, I found I was able to move a little easier and my days weren’t filled with pain and my body was recovering. Slowly, but nonetheless recovering.
So as I continued my journey to full recovery, I continued to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. But no matter how much I think I had progressed, the tiny pin prick of a light never seemed to get any bigger.
It was then I was told I should look back through the weeks and months and see how far I had really progressed.
So as I looked back over my shoulder, I could see a tiny light, way back in the distance. It was where my rehabilitation journey had begun. It was just as far as the light in front of me, where I was heading.
The hardest part of any journey is the middle part. You are far enough from your starting point, and just as far from your destination. Frustrating, but you know you are heading in the right direction.
It’s times like these where you need to be a ‘bit of a mongrel’ and attack the last part of the journey with guts and determination. It’s going to be the only way to make it through the tunnel and out to the other side.
I know the my own journey still has a long way to go, but I do know what awaits me when I eventually arrive at my destination.
We all need to set our sights on that pin prick of a light at the end of the tunnel. And we can do that with the help and support from the people around us, who want us to get out of the dark tunnel.