Tag Archives: positivity

The pot

My ankle is broken. Not the bone, the ligament. I have to say, the pain of walking on it for the past few weeks wasn’t anywhere near as annoying as this pot has been since last night!

It’s not even a good pot. When I was a kid, part of me was always a little bit jealous if anybody at school was lucky enough to break a limb and came to school with a cast that we could all draw on. It looked like fun.

I’m not having fun. My cast is ugly. It’s soft on top, so no writing on it, and it’s wrapped in bandages that are already grubby looking, and it is very difficult to get around with because it is so heavy.

I’m looking for the positives. While I can’t get out and about I’ll have more time to catch up on my homework, my cleaning, my writing. I’ll be able to spend more time playing with my pet rats. I’ll have lots of time for research. So it’s not all bad.

But if I’m totally honest about, aside from the annoyance of one leg being 3 stone heavier than the other, this has scared the crap out of me. Because it feels to me like this is just the beginning. I know when my ankle first went it was due to my having hypermobility. I felt it go. My condition means that the muscle and tissue surrounding my joints is overly flexible so there’s no stability in any of my joints. They click and pop constantly. It feels like the top of my legs are very precariously balanced on the bottom half and could slip off at any minute. When I was younger it was thought I was just “double jointed” and I had quite a lot of fun with that. Being able to bend my fingers in weird ways always got a good reaction but it was being able to cross my ankles behind my head that was my party trick.

It’s not fun anymore. It’s getting more and more painful. Nobody seems to understand why it’s so painful because it isn’t meant to be, apparently lots of people have the condition with no problems at all, but I feel slightly vindicated as one of my sisters also has it and struggles a lot with her hips. I often feel like people think I’m exaggerating. So I tend to only mention to people I’m close to, when it’s really bad, but the fact is I am constantly in pain, every time I move causes pain somewhere because, of course, the human body has a lot of jointed limbs, and dealing with constant pain, pain that never goes away completely and burns you with hot pokers every time you move, is the most exhausting thing I have ever known. And I had 3 children under 4, I know exhaustion! Two years ago I was the fittest I’ve ever been. I worked out for an hour every morning, I took the dog out speed walking, I walked into town and back twice a week and the 6 miles over to mum’s twice a week. Which just makes this more devastating. My legs are worst affected, my hips have always been bad and are still definitely the most painful, closely followed by my knees and shoulders, in winter my hands are really bad, and my ankles of course, but I can also feel my wrists and elbows getting in on the act. It’s been steadily getting worse for the past year or so, and I feel like I’ve physically aged 10 years in the past 2.

But now, with this new development, my ankle joint giving way to the point that the ligament snapped, I am terrified. I’ve completely overreacted to the “housebound” thing in the last 12 hours, when usually I’d be grateful to have an excuse to be lazy, because I’m scared. I took a few steps with the crutches the hospital gave me and my left hip, which is the bad one although I suppose we now have to call that my “good” leg since the other is in a pot, couldn’t take the strain of my whole body weight. So, even assuming that the fracture clinic put me a proper pot on tomorrow that I can put weight on to try and get about, how am I then supposed to walk with the crutches when my hip can’t take it?

What if my knee goes next, the right one that’s really bad? Will I need a whole leg cast? Maybe they can just put my whole lower body in plaster to be on the safe side??

I have a year clean from drugs. I’m training and studying all the time to improve my knowledge and skills so that I keep moving forwards in my life and try to make up for the stagnancy of my 20s. I have responsibilities, job prospects, I have a whole fucking life that I want to be out living!

I have this fear that I’ll be in a wheelchair before I’m 40. I know people live good, full lives from their wheelchairs and I’m sure I could too, it’s just not something I’ve ever had to contemplate before and it’s really scary.

I’m trying not to think about it because, right now at least, it’s only a product of my imagination and not something I’ve been told I have reason to worry about. But I do. How will I play with the kids? They love to go to the park, the library, anywhere! What about when they have kids? How will I be able to get down on the floor to play with my grandbabies?

I have wondered if this is my karma, or if it’s a product of how I have lived and the stress I have put my body under over the years. Is it my genes? That seems most likely, but then nobody else in the family seems to be as badly affected as I am. Or maybe it’s just sheer bad luck. Whatever, I’m going to have to find a way through it, one way or another, because I have no intention of going back to daytime tv!

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What do geese and addicts have in common?

Sounds like the setup for a terrible punchline, doesn’t it?

I just came across an interesting forum post called “Lessons From Geese” and it’s really made me think about both where I’m at in my recovery and where society is heading as a whole. I’ve heard a few people recently say that we’re heading backwards; all this censorship, inequality, terrorism and, even worse, our rights being gradually stolen in the name of anti-terrorism.

But I hope that the awakening I’ve felt happening around me gradually, little by little, for the last few years does take us backwards! I hope we can go back to a time when people looked after their communities; wherever we were when the NHS was set up and British people were proud that their taxes were paying for something that benefited everybody; when we did our shopping with locally owned businesses, with shopkeepers that knew our name and had time for a gossip, and our food was locally sourced and fresh instead of flown halfway around the world. Anyway, speaking of flying, back to the geese!

Society could learn a lot from geese, if we just look a little deeper

Lessons from Geese

Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow.
By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater range
than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common sense of direction and community can get
where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the
thrust of one another.

Fact 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and
resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take
advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those
headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give
our help to others.

Fact 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another
goose flies to the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership, as with
geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skill, capabilities and
unique arrangement of gifts, talents or resources.

Fact 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up
their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there
is encouragement, the productivity is much greater. The power of
encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the
heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

Fact 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of
formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay until it dies
or can fly again. Then they launch out with another formation or catch up
with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult
times as well as when we are strong.

Lessons from Geese was transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arrien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network and is based on the work of Milton Olson
community
smile at people in the street and chat to old ladies waiting for the bus; make your world a nicer place!

It seems perfectly obvious when you think about it but I, probably like a lot of people, sometimes need the obvious pointing out in order to think about it!
It’s something I’ve seen a lot from doing voluntary work with addicts and going to weekly Smart Recovery meetings. We’re quite often each other’s lifeline. There’s always at least one person in the group that’s struggling and everybody else naturally bouys them up; I do it automatically, without thinking, and then when I am struggling they will support me in return. It comes so naturally to us in recovery to ‘give back’ because we understand our own need for that support and we’re grateful for having recieved the benefits of it. I often think that if SMART, mindfulness and self awareness were taught in schools then the world would be a much nicer place!
Surely this is how the world should work? What comes so naturally to geese and to a lot of individuals in recovery should surely be the system on which our society is based? To look after those that are weaker than ourselves and to have the security of knowing that we, too, will be looked after should it be necessary, should be the foundation of everyday life; we must have understood this as a society at one point, it is what caused the formation of the NHS after all.
So until the world in general, or those running it, comes to its senses, let’s those of us that are self aware enough to know that we should always be looking at who we are as people in order to grow, and understand that we are all a constant work in progress, let’s look after those in our communities that need it, let’s talk to our neighbours and offer our support, let’s smile at people in the street and chat to old ladies waiting for the bus. Keep fighting to change your bit of the world, your community, for the better and show that we won’t submit to being worthless, easily replaced commodities with no individual spirit.

Let’s make the effort to spread positivity and hope that the message eventually spreads to those that haven’t quite got it yet!