When will we be done?

It’s been about nine months since I lost my legs, but sometimes it still doesn’t feel real to me. I’ll be engrossed at my computer, turn to stand up and then realise I can’t. When I see a person struggling to carry something, my body will prepare to rush forward and help, but then I have to sit back in my wheelchair.

For the first few months after my amputations, it felt as though I was simply ill and as soon as I got better everything would go back to normal. But of course it won’t go back to that normal.

A new normal

Coming home to Cape Town jolted me into reality in many ways. My brother and I used to stand eye-to-eye, so when he picked me up from the airport and I saw him towering over me in my wheelchair, I realised for the first time that my legs were gone forever.

Driving through familiar neighbourhoods again, old haunts where I once had such a full life, brought home to me how different life will be now. At the time, I only saw all the things I could no longer do. The places I could no longer go. Sometimes that is still all I see. I try to think of all the things I can do now, or how I could do the old things differently, but sometimes I just can’t.

The big picture

Although I have no legs, in many ways I am more fortunate than many others on this planet. I’ve never gone seriously hungry and my family and friends have always done their best to support me (when I’ve let them). Thinking of people that have never been loved, have never had a full belly, and have never been given dignity and respect, changes my perspective on my problems slightly. But honestly … it doesn’t change that much or for very long. My problems are still real to me. And that’s okay.

Someone else may have no idea how to deal with my challenges and I wouldn’t know how to handle their debt or children or drinking habit. The truth is, we never know how to cope with something until it happens. And then, most of the time, we just do it. We get through it, because we have to.

For the first time, I am acknowledging my problems and doing what I can to change them, rather than pretending that everything is fine. Fixing me is going to take years, if it is ever completed at all. But then, we are all works in progress, aren’t we?

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9 thoughts on “When will we be done?

    • Thank you Lindi. I had an interesting conversation with my physical trainer this evening about constant energy, the butterfly effect and the vector forces in a closed system (first time since high school I’ve used those words – can’t believe I even still remember them!). Your comment reminded me of that and I think it may find its way into a blog post here soon. Stay tuned. 😉 xx

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  1. I’m so proud of you! I know that your story and your ongoing journey will inspire , encourage and strengthen those who come across your blog or have the honor of meeting you!
    Cheering you on Daryl!!!!
    #braveheart

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  2. Daryl
    Honest and truly earned…These words are riveting and truly yours. Keep digging for the strength to deal with this. The words that stick with me most now that I’m away from the piece are “when I let them”. Not glossed over and very true.
    God bless you with understanding from Him.
    Jules

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    • Thanks Julie! Yes, I have always struggled with accepting (and even worse: asking for) help, due to an odd combination of pride and not wanting to inconvenience anyone. Now that I am largely dependent on others I am discovering that my friends never feel inconvenienced by supporting me. We are so blessed by the amazing people placed around us.

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