Apologies it is a bit of a big ramble……
I woke up today and on top of the usual groans and moans which is me just getting up off my makeshift cushioncitysofabed the first thing I hear is trumpet bum and a sniggering laugh, now you’d be forgiven for thinking this is my 18 year old sons funny way of waking me, but no it was in fact my 3 year old LG. This little piece of humour was enough to lift my mood until that was that I caught a minute of the news which said today is apparently the most depressing day of the year, and so soon into the new year too and I thought how sad.
I think the day fluctuates each year and is based on the certain day of the month that falls just before payday. It assumes that we will all have over stretched ourselves at Christmas and spent out at parties, the sales, food and drink to excess etc etc, it also assumes that by now most of us will have given up on our new years resolutions, a number of the people I spent new year’s eve with all had resolutions I wonder how many still are working towards them, perhaps if you read this you can let me know.
I am pleased to report in that I am still watching what I eat and hopefully losing weight as a result, my body is going through crisps withdrawal and I swear I see packets winking at me but I’m still on top of that resolution. I am also pleased to report that I am still working towards being kinder and more forgiving of myself. This sounds like a simple thing to do but when you have to say no to a number of simple things, or what a lot of people do and take for granted that they are doing it, it makes it a rough journey interspersed with calm seas.
I have to say that my wife and I save throughout the year and only spend what we can afford so the impending arrival of a credit card bill before payday doesn’t bother us, we’ve been very poor in the past and we still apply that same mentality of being cautious with money, planning meals and minimalising waste. There are enough people in this world who go hungry so wasting food is a pet peeve of mine! It goes without saying that I have disproved the work of some eminent doctor or philosopher who was commissioned at vast expense to come up with today – well screw you sir or madam in your face, and you know what this will be the case each year, not only for the above reasons which will remain unchanged each year but also because today is my nieces and our cousins birthday and tomorrow is one of our best friends birthdays so this will always be a good time of year.
If I was ever more sure that today was not going to be blue Monday it was what happened to me this morning. I am not one to talk about religion or belief systems because my own viewpoint is that they are a personal thing and no one person has a right to tell you that what you believe in is wrong. I enjoy reading about the Norse Gods and belief system having read about them in a series of Bernard Cornwell books, the same can be said for a series of Roman books by Simon Scarrow that I read and my thirst for knowledge and learning new things. Today however I was taken aback at being asked if I would allow some people to pray for my healing. For someone who isn’t religious and whose own belief system doesn’t include a God I was unsure of how to respond. I place my faith in the NHS and medical science and know my back is about maintaining a quality of life and not a cure, but to be asked by someone else who does put their faith in a god to use their prayers for me was a powerful gesture. These were not people who are close friends, nor where they people trying to get me to convert or join in the prayer. They just see something in me and wanted to do what they felt they could to help me. I was not about to insult them or turn them away, as I say I do not judge others or their beliefs. They asked if I could have one part of me healed or to have some healing what would it be, bizarrely enough for someone who lives in constant pain that is not abating and that is costing me dearly when asked what did I want them to pray for god’s help in healing I replied my mind. I know it sounds bizarre as I sit here typing it, it seems like a surreal day, but my biggest demon in my battle with my pain is my mind. If someone had said to me 6-8 months ago that I’d get so much out of speaking to a pain psychologist like Dr B I’d have laughed at them. With this in mind I agreed for the the Pastor and G to pray for me. It was not their act of praying that touched me, it was the fact that these two people I see once a week briefly at the playgroup my LG goes to, wanted to invest their prayers in me. I was honest with them and told them that I did not believe in god and they accepted and acknowledged this and with my permission they prayed that God would help heal my mind and I would find some inner peace and love myself like I love others. Certainly wasn’t the start to the day I was expecting.
This afternoon I spoke to the SNDC financial assessor who as we expected turned us down for the disabled facilities grant that is intended to help convert my home into a disabled friendly home to save me being moved into social housing that is already built to specification. It seems however paying taxes all my life, my wife paying taxes for a large proportion of her life and us both continuing to do so, already self funding numerous aids and using my Disability Living Allowance on a vehicle large enough to transport my mobility scooter and wheelchair we should also fund this. As a disabled person it gives you very little incentive to try and better yourself when if you do you are penlised for being disabled and working as every penny you earn then goes on making adjustments to your living space to allow you to lead as painful and independent life as possible. I struggle with these changes being means tested when if I didn’t work and my wife choose to become my full time carer and receive benefits for it as opposed to working and being my full time carer for the love of her family we would be as comfortable as we are now working/having worked in excess of 60 hours per week between us. All this said I did however get some positive outcomes from the call, I was supplied with the contact details of two reputable builders who SNDC use regularly and will ensure any alterations made meet my needs and regulations. Furthermore they confirmed that if my needs change such that in the future my wife has no alternative but to give up work to care for me, if we keep receipts for the work done they will take this into consideration if further work was required. I think that was meant to be a silver lining when the man told me – that is if we forget about the fact that I will be further incapacitated.
My day was further brightened upon receiving a tweet from The Last Leg to say they are back for their new series on the 29th Jan, now if only I can a #isitok on the show!
Finally whilst going through some photo’s today I found myself laughing as one popped up on my laptop of my LG trying to lift a rock of the beach that was almost as big as her. I remembered the conversation as if it was today she was collecting shells and she saw this lovely grey rock with white lines through it that looked like railway tracks. She asked if she could take it, and looking at it said daddy I think you should carry it for me. I knew there was no way that I could bend down to try and lift it let alone lift it and carry it. I told her if she could lift it I’d take it home for her. Not only did she try and lift it, she tried for long enough for me to get my camera out and capture a photo. I laughed at the photo initially because if you could see it you’d know how impossible it was going to be, but then I laughed at and admired the amount of determination she had to try, and try more than once to lift it. If she learns one thing from watching me in pain and struggling through each day I hope it is that she learns to keep that determination and will power in her so that she knows with effort, determination and the right frame of mind she can achieve anything she sets her mind at. There will always be obstacles in life and as daddy I will do all that I can to help her succeed and maybe with a little bit of embarrassing her along the way 😉