A Little Note to Self: Don't Be so Focused on the Bigger Picture

Since April 2019 when I first told my sister, Harrie, that I soon needed brain surgery she'd been telling me "we'll celebrate in Sketch once it's all over." When the early days were long and uncertain we really held on to that plan. The idea of us soon chin-chinning gorgeous expensive champagne in a pink gallery made it all better. But we both envisioned we'd be doing that by the end of that summer. It was going to be a little celebratory afternoon tea we held onto and planned to have maybe eight weeks later, just to really be sure I was all recovered by then. At no point did we think that it would take us two years to finally enjoy.

Last Saturday was my two year craniversary. Two whole years since brain surgery. The days were short but those years have been so long. On the morning of my surgery I was so happy and calm. I was rapping to 'Insane in the brain', taking selfies and having the best morning. More excited and at peace than anything else that it was soon all about to be over.

I woke up tumour free, but I hadn't prepared for the recovery journey ahead and how truly challenging it would be. I hadn't given thought to the possibility of corrective surgeries, stoke recovery and a permanently wobbly world to navigate. Truth is, I started to give up on the idea of our Sketch afternoon tea altogether. When I woke up, I thought that was it. And deep down I know my sister feared the same when she sat downstairs crying to a stranger who later told her "your sister's life isn't over, she'll just find a new way to live it."

The journey to recovery has taken far longer than expected. After needing to relearn how to walk again, to write again, to feed myself again, to stand unassisted, to use an escalator, to ride a bike, to smile again... I honestly thought this day in Sketch would never come. The day when I could finally do all of those things again.

Right now feels like a huge turning point. The next chapter finally feels like it's beginning and I just wish I could have told myself two years ago, when I was seriously more concerned for the new future of my life than I let on to others, that it really does get better than this.

You will get stronger. You will relearn those basics, and it doesn't even matter that you need to. It doesn't matter that your best friends are out wedding dress shopping or planning dream holidays whilst you dedicate your weeks to mastering a straw and escalator again. Life is not a race. Don't be so focused on the bigger picture either. Instead, take each day as it comes and do the best you can with what you have. Know that even though progress can seem so small in the moment, I promise you it does add up. Eventually. Just give it time. Better days are on the way. Something good is always about to happen. Don't give up. You will get there x


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