Friday, 25 July 2014

Tonight is one of those nights where I just can’t switch off

Tonight is one of those nights where I just can’t switch off. My mind is working overtime. Yeah I’m tired and I know I will pay the price come the morning when I have to get up for work, it’s not even as if I have all that much phantom pain. Nope although I tell myself “just go to sleep” it’s not happening.

As I lie, kind of almost in a dream state, images keep popping into my head, quite a few of these appear to be based around what’s gone on in my life, both past and present, though not so much the future, as like you I don’t have the benefit or foresight. I think I know what is going on and it’s not that I’m worried I just simply can’t sleep tonight. I have been asked to write an article for the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Blog, this has for some reason entered my thoughts tonight and got me thinking.

I know my blog is aptly named Post Amp Adventures, Why? Well because I much prefer to concentrate on the stuff that is going on now rather than what I went through for a long period whilst I was ill. However in order to get to where I am today I had to undergo all that bad stuff. 

So whilst I can’t sleep I am going to try and write down what had gone through my mind, just before I got up and decided to reboot my pc and start typing away.

At one point in my life I felt I faced the end. This may sound rather dramatic, though for me it was very real. I had reached a point which I can only describe as standing looking into a huge black void of nothingness. One step further I would fall from the edge and be lost forever. Of course this was the mental side of things. I felt I had reached my limit of pain and my life force was just ebbing away. I awoke each day when I could sleep wishing I hadn’t woke up. It wasn’t that I wanted to cease to exist, No I just wanted to wake up and everything be ok, be normal and not in pain. Be able to do something with my life. Physically I was a broken man, demoralised, no job, no partner and living with my parents instead of out there making something of my life and being independent. Relying on people all of the time is a tough pill to swallow.

At the time options were there I just couldn’t see all of them. All I could see was give up or continue in limbo, which basically equated to as good as giving up, two negatives in this case most certainly not making a positive.

Things took a rather surprising turn for me. I recall the time well. A rather special community nurse came to see me and tried her best to motivate and give me hope. Of course I wasn’t interested. I had decided to encapsulate myself in this imaginary protective bubble, my way of coping with my situation. Of course this meant I blocked out reality. I was lost and couldn’t see any options, my judgement clouded by pain and misery. Then it was as if I had what I can only describe as a light bulb moment “Ting” it was if someone had flicked a switch and I had this epiphany. A few very simple words from this nurse struck a chord somewhere deep inside, and my mind fired into action. Other possibilities came flooding into my conciousness. It was like if I do this, will it lead to this, or if I do that could I possibly go on to do that. For the first time in years I felt excitement. Excitement at what you may ask. Well this may sound weird, but excitement at having my leg chopped off. You see I hadn’t really thought about that option, well that’s a bit of a fib to be honest. I had and it scared the shit out of me. I had fought tooth and nail for well over 11 years to keep my leg, yet in the end it was the very thing I was fighting for that was holding me back. My leg had become my number one arch enemy. It’s a very bizarre feeling. It’s like having the love of your life betray you.

That was then this is now…

So as my thoughts formed in my mind, remember I’m trying to describe what I was thinking earlier I kind of equated where I am now to a favourite kind of analogy of mine and that’s of a Phoenix rising from the ashes. I think it symbolises quite a bit about my life. My old life left in the ashes, my new life rising to take shape. Something I am still totally amazed at and feel so lucky to have. Sometimes I reflect on the bad times, not because I am feeling depressed or sad, no it’s more a case of it allows me to see just how far I have come. I will never be an elite athlete, an astronaut or a brain surgeon. I’m just very happy and proud to be me and to have survived and fought to keep my sanity and also chose the right options in order to get out there and do something with my life. I suppose sometimes we have to take risks, in order to move forward with our lives and these risks can be very, very scary. 

I still can’t believe I’m back to work, not only back to work but doing something I love and working with some of the most fantastic people. I have travelled, wow me travelling all on my lonesome, this did wonders for my confidence and self-esteem. You lose things like that when you’re socially isolated for so long. And now I’m actually out swimming, riding bikes and very soon going to be learning how to run.

How many times have you ever thought, “That will never happen to me”. Now that can be in a good way or a bad way I guess you should always keep your options open huh.

So what have I learnt from my experiences? Well in short that you can always turn a negative into some kind of a positive. It may take a very long time and you may need help in discovering it, however it is there.

Ok I feel tired now and hopefully now that I have kind of wrote down what’s been running around in my mind I can get to sleep. I hope who ever reads this finds it interesting and if you’re having similar problems my thoughts and insight can help you in some way.
Night, night off to count sheep

PS you can really help me out in my aim to learn to run by supporting me and donating a few quid. Once I'm up and running my goal is to go on and help other people achieve their goals. I wouldn't normally ask for money from people as it doesn't sit well with me, however in order for me to help others I firstly need much needed support from you.

Thank you.

You Can Donate to my Virgin Just Giving Right Here. Just Hover over this Link


  1. I have to say that I am so proud of my son,and all that he has achieved .I just feel in my heart that he will go on to do great things

  2. WoW what better accolade than when your dad is proud of you...

  3. Hi Glenn, Your story is very similar to mine, it was my carer that kick started me. My worst time was when I had lost my leg below knee and was asked to go to a birthday party, I set off to it on my mobility scooter, got nearly there and saw a huge crowd, I couldn't cope, so I turned around and went back home, I don't know what happened but I decided I couldn't go on like this and was going to end it there and then. I sat down and started to write my goodbye letter while telling my lovely dog that I loved him, then my carer came online, I can't remember what happened but she seemed to flick a switch and thankfully came to my senses and I'm still here to tell the tale.

  4. Glad your still here Ian, sometimes it just takes a friendly supportive person to say the right thing.

    Depression and pain can wear you down. I now look at illness as a personal affront to me a challenge if you like and I'm determined to battle against it.

    Good luck in all that you do, take care.