…………………or is it a time to change it to the day of new beginnings. 13 years ago I was involved in my car accident that at the time I never had any idea of how great an impact it was going to turn out having on my life. It took me nearly 4 years to recover enough to go back to work and since then, despite regular cuts to my hours to enable me to continue in work whilst my pain and disability slowly got worse it has been 9 good years at City College Norwich. I have made some good friends, been fortunate enough to directly influence a number of students and some staff in their successes and been proud to do so.
However it is now near enough 13 years to the day since my car accident and what should arrive in my email and through the letterbox, my letter from the Occupational Health GP Dr C, confirming that she was recommending having seen me in her clinic and from the information supplied by my consultant team for ill health retirement. She acknowledged the day to day difficulties, help and support I required and that redeployment to another area was not an option. Following on from this I had an email from P in HR asking me to call him to talk through the next steps. It means that I am now officially starting my termination period with the college and my employment end date with them will be in January.
This has been such an emotionally draining and difficult time for me and my family, a period of huge uncertainty and I have been very difficult to live with. Work has always been a large part of my life and it feels as if once again on this day in November a part of me has died. I know that sounds melodramatic but it does, I have made some lifelong friends through the various places I have worked, many of whom over the past 13 years I feel as if I have let down either by not being able to see them as often as I would have liked, and this continues to be the case. (The Wymondham Leisure Centre Crew, The Virgin Lot and more recently my City College friends) More recently through not being at work to see through the challenges I have started both with the students and the staff in my role as a mentor. My life changed dramatically on this cold night all those years ago and once again it has this year.
I have always had a mix of emotions with this day angry at the person who caused the accident and at how different my life is to the one I had planned, sad as it was a reminder of what I had lost physically and to some extent the mental impact it had on me. For years I wouldn’t get in a car on this day and now as fate would have it. it will be the day my manager signs my termination for employment through ill health forms. I knew this day would come I’d just hoped it was when I was around 50 not before I turned 40.
So what does this mean now, I really don’t know, how will I fill this void, again I really do not have the answers and if I am honest with you I am scared as to what this means for me and my family (as a stubborn Taurean I can already feel the period of sulking and anger coming on) and for me in the community. I guess it gives me plenty to talk about next time I Dr B my pain psychologist on Monday and hopefully I will be able to process it all a bit more then.
This leads us nicely back to is this the worst day of the year, well it has felt the most life changing and negative day for such a long time now, but I am also a believer fate, if you want to read some good books, find the Last Kingdom series by Bernerd Cornwell now being serialised on BBC 2 about Uhtred of Bebbanburg Fate is Inexorable! When I text my wife this afternoon she replied with and I paraphrase a bit but it was along the lines of I now you are sad, but maybe unlucky 13 is now the time to stop looking back, let go of the date and all it has taken from me and that hopefully this could now be the start of something new. Who knows, there maybe a best selling novel lurking somewhere within this fuzzy head of mine, they say we all have one in us after all!
The one thing I do know is that I need me family, friends and support network more than ever now, I bet they get fed up of pushing that wheelchair keeping me going but then again I think I know really that they do not mind at all. I love them all and here’s to new beginnings!