Those small changes are catching up with me. I don’t know how it happened, but I’m a different person, with a different outlook and future. I guess a lot of small changes add up to a big change over time. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I see this time – the now - as significant. I tweeted a quote by Andy Rooney recently - “I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while climbing it”. I must not forget to enjoy this stage of my journey, while I am climbing.
I’m no longer standing on a platform in hell, waiting for my train to arrive and take me where I want to go. I know that train will never come, and I am making my own way. I’m no longer spending Christmas 2011 housebound and hardly able to walk, with even my thinking impaired by illness. I stood up, put one unsteady foot in front of the other, increasing the distance I could walk gradually, and broke through the barriers keeping me inside. I’m not pretending it was easy. There was a time I was attempting to walk out on my street and a passer-by thought I was trying to stalk a cat that was in front of me; I was so slow, and my steps were so hesitant and short. Bless her; she was mortified when I had to explain I couldn’t really walk properly – and I felt bad for telling her.
I was not “pacing” myself, which is a therapy often served out to sufferers of ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was in the early stages of implementing Reverse Therapy, and conquering my fears. I wanted to do so many things, but to do them I had to be able to walk. Starting the process of getting to my goals, according to Reverse Therapy, should lessen my symptoms. I thought it was far-fetched at the time, but I was desperate. It worked.
I did not notice the progress as it happened; but it did happen. I look back to then from now, I can see the distance I have travelled, and I am astonished. There are things in life trying to pull me back to the way I was then, but I am fighting them. I am fighting them as the person I am now – stronger from my experience, and knowing it is possible to be well, not merely hoping for a miracle.
I’ve been working towards other goals too. I look back to where I was in 2010 when I started my blog. How naive I was to writing styles, how isolated I was from other writers because of my health. I posted only once to this blog during 2011, promising a re-vitalised site on the way – and then nothing; the illness took over. Or did it? I look back and I suspect not entirely. Although fogged, and not working to anything like capacity, my brain was still there. I observed, I learned, and I processed. I had an extreme experience, which makes me appreciate the smallest things now. It slowed me down, made me look at the world around me and re-evaluate. It made me a better person, and potentially a better writer.
I’m now an active member of a writing group, and am physically meeting and befriending my peers. I have taken in texts and courses about writing well, and I have a blog with momentum. I’m making connections and friends via social networks linked to my writing. I’m getting feedback. I’m looking into freelance writing which would be a dream come true – my peers tell me my writing is good enough to pitch. My peers have done it themselves, and they are now my unintended mentors. I hope they are right, but I’m not expecting success over-night, or for it to be easy. I’ve learned never to “expect” anything.
I’ve made this happen, one very small change at a time. I’ll probably have to take more steps than most on my journey, but all my steps are in the right direction, and they have brought me here. Had I taken no steps, I would still be housebound, and struggling to walk. Small steps work.
I’m looking forward now, not back. I’m on an exciting journey – so why would I want to look back?
I’m hoping to inspire others to make things happen for them on this blog, and I will be providing some tips in the future to help you along the way. In the meantime I’d love to hear about your experiences – your journeys. No matter how insignificant you may think them – remember - it is the small steps that count.
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