Last year, sees the end of the toughest year of my 37 years on this planet. Having to finally accept that working in paid employment was just a step too far in my battle against chronic pain and the disabiling limitations it was placing on me was a bitter pill to swallow. Not only was I confused as I had lost what I blindly saw as my contribution to society and life but also I’d lost a job I loved and was good at and without it what was my purpose in life. Crazy as I have a wife and children but I think maybe that is the pressure we put on society and those not working today.
I found myself at a very dark crossroads and whatever way I looked there was just black. I fortunately found myself finally getting a place on the pain management seminar 10 week programme and this helped me to accept the changes in my life, it encouraged me to explore my feelings and refocused me on ways to deal with my pain and disability. I met some great friends and a support group on the course and as a result a light sparked on one of those crossroads. I realised my family were something to live for and maintain my health as long as possible our LG was growing into an incredible person, and I have a wife and son who both work full time and help care for me so as it was as a family unit we were already achieving so much. Furthermore I was given some help and advice in relation to volunteer work and a chance encounter with my local council over a new Park that was built inaccessible to wheelchair users in 2015 which infuriated me, led me to meeting Equal Lives and a plethora of new volunteer opportunities opened up. Although I am a long way off being able to start any new projects of this type knowing that moving forward I will still be able to help my local community ignited yet another light.
As 2015 progressed I lost friends who didn’t really understand what it was like living in constant pain, I met new friends and old ones surprised me and stepped up to the plate at times when it was very unexpected. With my closest family and friends really showing how lucky I am. They were the final light shining at my crossroads and although I will not be unhappy seeing the end of 2015 I have come to realise that life is too short to be wishing the years by as despite it being the worst year there were some massive improvements in my life and some real positive steps and times.
As 2016 starts there are some fresh challenges to face and I now know I have the right people around me to face the year head on. I have made some new year’s resolutions and I am currently debating whether to publish these or not, I do not want to feel like failing if my pain leads to the goal posts to shift so I will figure it out when I am more awake, have a fry up inside me and have made sure of the steps I need to take to reach/achieve the resolutions.
I hope 2016 brings together my family and friends and unites them all in a happy and healthy year.