Ok, ok, ok, I know, it’s been an age, sorry! I bet you’ve all secretly enjoyed the peace and quiet though?! I have no idea where to start, so as per, hang on to your hats, this could go anywhere! A lot has happened since December and if it weren’t for a plethora of iPhone photos and videos, I’d be struggling to give this blog any content! Two secs, my Google Home is going off ……. Fab gadget, it’s just reminded me to go look in the freezer for something for tonight’s dinner and even better, it’s enabled me to drop my lunch time carers call. Where was I? Oh yes, from what I can deduce I had a lovely Christmas and New Year, a good sight better than the year before but that wouldn’t be too hard to achieve, would it!? A few anniversaries have come and gone, well, would you call them that, I’m not so sure? My good friend Tracy sent me a Happy Birthday message on the first year to date as it was the day my life changed or became something else, like an anniversary or a new beginning. You see, Tracy is pretty clued up as to how I often feel and some of what I’m going through, having experienced and battled through 17 years of brain related illnesses she tends to get it. It’s not my story to tell without her permission but just know that, very few words are often ever exchanged but a few tears have been shared. St Valentine’s has also come and gone. I had a tooth repaired, that’s about as romantic as it got for me, not that I could give a flying monkey’s chuff! I have a vague recollection of a conversation with Colette about men, it went something along the lines of …. After everything you’ve been through you need to marry a brain surgeon or someone like that! My reply was – After everything I’ve been through he’d have to be a flipping astronaut and totally out of this world! Hahaha Of course, I’m no oil painting or super model and don’t own a spaceship myself, though I confess to liking the notion, I do suspect you all get the gist! We were all spoilt at Easter, in fact it’s still Easter in this house, everyone showed such kindness again, that there’s still evidence of Easter dotted around the place. It’s not the presents or the possessions, what completely blows my mind (no pun intended!) is everyone’s thoughtfulness and kindness, although I’m always told they’re merely repaying me for my previous acts of kindness to them. I’ve never been on the receiving end like this and quite frankly, thank you sounds a bit feeble, naff and never enough!
I’m going through a difficulty time with regards to not sleeping. I now have 4 Neurologists, I know, there’s just no pleasing some folk, as I am experiencing episodes of Dyskinesia and Dystonia due to the lack or should I say, the inability to sleep. Not to put a fine point on it (… say I’m the only bee in your bonnet …. And she’s off! There’s a song for everything!) my body is beyond exhausted and in real pain but my brain is raving in Ayia Napa blowing a whistle and waving a glow stick! All things you wouldn’t want to experience, believe me. I’ll leave that one there for now because it’s still ongoing.
Throughout the past 16 months, yes, it’s really been that long, I’ve celebrated all of the above along with all of you guys, whether it be through social media or in person. This may sound very naïve but if I’ve welcomed you in, you’re then considered a friend and even as I approach 40, yes, I can’t believe it either and I still think I’m 19, I still make the same mistakes with people and still end up inadvertently getting into trouble or becoming a scapegoat. I’m far from any sort of angel. I make many, many mistakes and openly admit to doing so but maybe that’s my flaw and maybe, just maybe that’s why I’m such an easy target because others aren’t so prepared to do the same. In the past I’ve been handed the bullets and fired them at the wrong people, only to then discover the fucker who handed them to me in the first place, was the one who I should have been aiming at! Folk like that much rather twist the truth to make the story fit, other than admit they were wrong. I’ve been told there’s people out there that hate me, the only thing I can offer those people is a little advice, hating me has no affect on me whatsoever, it’s not damaging to me because everyone will have a different experience and opinion of me but hate takes up a hell of a lot of time and energy, I must be pretty damn special for you to use all that up on me! I’m beyond fortunate that the good people now in my life tremendously outweigh those people who once took up space, so very fortunate. I’ve probably said before that my head injury is really complexed and complicated so if friends don’t nudge me or keep in touch with me, I’d sit here and wonder where everyone was, whatever the medical science or the anatomical explanation, the people at Headway, the Neurologists and the Neuropsychologists at Walkergate Park Rehabilitation Centre aren’t unaccustomed to it and thankfully they completely understand and have seen it all before. So once again, I’m not being a ignoramus, I’ve just got some bust switches and fuses so if I don’t message back or get in touch then bloody prod me!
So, this leads me into something that irritates the living shit out me! I have always enjoyed social media. I love the sharing aspect and how ridiculously small it has made the world! It doesn’t go without it’s problems, I admit but then on the other hand I have to defend it and say it’s often the people that use it that are flawed! No doubt some folk will think I’m an attention seeker or after sympathy and such likes but in actual fact for many years I have used social media to say, hey, this is happening to me and if there’s anyone else out there, you’re not alone! Over the years I’ve received support and empathy and I’ve even had people contact me privately to say they felt or experienced the same thing but always felt they were the only one. I, myself have been there, hell, I’m there now! I’m not lonely, I’m far from lonely. I can pick up my phone or iPad and be enthralled in a conversation within minutes, maybe even seconds but I am so very isolated. The feeling of isolation is a total bastard. I don’t mean living at the top of Mount Everest, though I often feel like I do. I mean feeling separated from the world or segregated, not included, excluded, like life is passing me by. Recently friends learnt of my wish list of things I’d like to do and I was utterly amazed by the amount of offers to help me fulfil my list, though my pesky brain put pay to most of it but the list is still very much in pursuit and getting longer. Unfortunately, isolation is quite addictive and is a potent drug. I’ve been trying my very best to conquer my isolation addiction but the crazy weather we’re experiencing just now, is cumbersome to say the least but I did attend a friends wedding and surprisingly (only to me) the Chatty Cathy and sociable bod is still in there somewhere, it’s just out of practise.
Anyhoo, social media! Back in the summer I remember seeing lots of parents almost embarrassed and guilt ridden about posting, quote “obligatory” first day back to school pics. Please stop doing that! Get those photos wapped on man, come on! We all want to see little Johnny in his new uniform that will no doubt partially end up going home with another little boy at the end of the school day and little Katie’s astronomically expensive school shoes that will be batted and covered in glitter glue by the time she gets home. I wanna see that shit, it’s life, it’s friendship, it’s sharing, it’s fun! There’s nothing attention seeking, showing off or self righteous about it and the people that think it is should never be allowed on social media and are pretty much tarring others with their own brush! I consider my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram an extension of my friendship, rightly or wrongly I do. I want to see your kids on their first day of school, I want to see mushy Valentine’s messages, I want to see your holiday pics. I want to see your drunk toilet mirror selfies, I’ve taken a fair few of my own in the past! I want to see your important messages about health and the struggles you’re facing, maybe I can help shine a little light in your darkness hour. I want to send you birthday wishes, I want to send well wishes to you and your poorly loved ones, I want to sponsor you for a good cause. Don’t ever feel guilty for sharing because you know what, there might just be someone out there reading and thinking, wow, that’s just made my day or that’s exactly how I feel, thank god I’m not the only one! Let people celebrate with you, let people offer support and comfort to you, let people feel the same in return! If you don’t want folk to know ought then don’t mention it, don’t share anything if you don’t want to, you don’t have to but then don’t chastise others that do want to interact, share and communicate! Don’t you sit there and pull them to bits because they’re doing something you wouldn’t do, who said you could set the precedent!
My friendship circle has taken a hammering recently, we’ve lost loved ones to brave battles, we’ve had them tragically and selfishly taken from us and we’ve also lost loved ones that no longer felt they could stay here with us. The sheer heartbreak and unexplainable angst these friends are experiencing have all been met with condolences and support online as well as in person. People using social media in the correct way, a channel, a voice, a tool, a source. I would also like to remind people that a photograph is a snapshot in time and does not depict nor narrates the full story, do not make assumptions or judge, be mindful! And to all you fuckers using social media negatively, spying and bitching and causing trouble for folk – You plant the seeds you sow my friend, be very fucking careful, the tables can quickly turn!
So through the mighty powers of social media, I was contacted by a lovely lady called Sarah from the Blue Badge Company. (www.bluebadgecompany.co.uk) She’d read my blog and asked me to review some of their products, until I received the official email I wasn’t sure if it was a wind up or not but sure enough, it was real! The Blue Badge Company are a UK company who are committed to employing people with limited work options. Over 40 percent of their team are either disabled or a primary care giver. How epic is that?! Many of you may have seen my post on Facebook and Twitter where I was showing off my new Houndstooth cover for my disabled parking badge, well that’s where I got it from. I might as well do things with a little style whilst I’m less able! The Blue Badge Company offer fabulous lifestyle aiding products that are a little bit funky and unique, a bit like me (Hehehe) but above all else, so very practical. I’m currently typing this blog at a zooming rate because I’m using one of their fabulous Tablet Stands, it’s like a mini beanbag for your iPad or tablet, it’s not heavy but it’s kept my iPad exactly where I want it, it’s great!
What I’m trying to say is, in a world of vast technology and gizmos and gadgets, nothing beats human contact, meeting and greeting folk and sharing life but in the absence of that, whether it be by choice, inability or seclusion, used in the right way by the right people, the World Wide Web is rather a grand thing and like all things wondrous, if abused it becomes dangerous, just like anything else in this world.
“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist …. Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist” ~ Stephen Hawking.