“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”
The last 5 weeks have thrown some pretty horrendous life experiences at me. My partner had an accident at work which had the potential to be fatal. He is still in hospital but thankfully wasn’t paralysed. A week later I was driving his car and was lucky enough to walk away from a collision with a lorry with just scrapes and bruises. The car’s crumple zone, airbags and seatbelt did a very good job of looking after me, but unfortunately the vehicle itself ended up in the great scrapheap in the sky…
There were quite a few times in that first weekend after his accident where I cried because I was scared what would happen to him, hating that I had to leave him in the hospital on his own, wishing my family was closer… then dealing with my own accident too, working full time and doing a roughly 40 mile round trip 6 days a week to visit himself and looking after a cat who didn’t know whether she was coming or going because of the amount of time I was out of the house.
But through all that, something happened. I coped. In fact, I am totally blown away with how well I have coped.. and even when I had rough moments they didn’t last long (and weren’t exactly unreasonable either). Why am I so surprised? Because if it had happened at the same time last year I would have had a total meltdown.
I am one of those people whose brain chemicals are not quite doing what they should. I am the kind who needs SSRI to get my brain chemicals doing what they should, and I’m not ashamed of it. My brain is generally knackered – it has electrical issues too – and this time last year I had just had to go back on to the SSRI because trying to come off them hadn’t worked. I was having nightmares (about zombies, they freak me out) and uncontrollable mood swings (randomly crying for no reason at my desk was rather disconcerting for me, let alone the people I worked with..) I knew, and my psychiatrist agreed, that CBT wasn’t going to make any difference (been there, done that) and I was relieved when the tablets started to work.
In some ways being epileptic, already having a “hidden” condition, has helped me finally come to terms with what was going on with my body and accept who I am. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll have days where I feel absolutely shitty about myself but I am a very lucky lady that we have found a medication which works for me. In fact, I had a check up with my psychiatrist a couple of weeks ago and he is happy to discharge me, with instructions that I need to take my tablets for at least two more years.
It does sound cheesy but all of what has happened in these past few weeks has lead me to really appreciate the little things in life: spending time with himself during visiting hours; the smell of the flowers in my garden; the thoughtful gifts and cards people sent me to let me know they were there for me; the thoughtful people; cuddling up with the feline; holding the singing teddy that was a jokey Valentines/anniversary present from himself; scrunching my toes in the grass; the kindness of neighbours; a good book or two; tea; countryside quietness (which really isn’t that quiet but makes a fantastic sensory change to the hum of electronics) and receiving my regular dose of pretties in the post.
So I agree with Sir Arthur. Those little things are infinitely important. These past few weeks have opened my eyes to those little things which have helped me deal with two massive things which could have truly broken me. It’s kind of like a Lego set. Having just a couple floating about isn’t going to make anything cool, but if you go and find all those other parts of the set, which have disappeared into cupboards, corners and under the bed, you can make something bloody awesome which will stand up to a right battering…
And the flowers still smell beautiful.