This week’s post is a tribute to all those independent, living-alone, Hippies… a massive hats-off to you all. It’s also not as ‘light-hearted’ as you’d normally find me, but I’ve been facing less light-hearted issues this week and battling old demons.
The Implication of ‘alone’
Personally, I’ve always loved a bit of ‘alone’ time. But it can conjure up quite a few complications for a Hippie.
Firstly, as a bit of background…
Before I met Himself, I lived a very different existence. An independent one filled with mostly bitterness and anger, mainly for the cards I’d been dealt; this period in my life was mostly consumed grieving for my old ‘more mobile’ life, before the degenerative hip dysplasia took hold. During this time, I lived alone, I was (deliberately) single and stubbornly self-sufficient, sometimes to my own detriment. Then, out of nowhere, there he was. This loving caring person wanting to be part of MY life, something I struggled with for so many reasons. As much as I resisted to begin with, he proved me wrong about the nature of people, taught me to let go and reminded me who I was… this he continues to do, even now.
So, when it became apparent that Himself was going to be working away, I didn’t really give it much thought. Also, this work came to light just as I was preparing to go for surgery, so as selfish as it sounds, my mind was pretty swamped with what was about to happen. Living as a Hippie, you have to pre-prepare for everything, but on this occasion, as my mind was so hectic, I just ticked the box. As far as I was concerned, I’d done this before, I had it covered. I’d lived alone after all, coping after surgery and with all the pain and hassle that hip dysplasia brings. On reflection, it was a hard time. Not just from a practical point of view, but psychologically. A little fact my brain had buried to the recesses of my mind. Maybe it was the stress that it had previously caused me. Your brain has a funny way of shielding you against all things traumatic in your life. A nice little protective mechanism, that only drips feeds you the odd detail as a reminder that something did in fact happen. It’s amazing the things I had forgotten from previous surgeries and only recalled them as I was reading the diary I’d kept. Something that was very painful for me to recollect, but stands as a frank reminder of what I’ve been through and what makes me, me.
In the days leading up to Himself actually going, it hit me like a punch in the stomach. Anyone would have thought this was brand new information for me. I could defend that by saying I had just been through major surgery, but I am an adult and should know better by now that brushing something under the carpet never works out well.
Then he was gone. (At this point, I’d like to point out that he didn’t ‘just go’, but I felt a bit of artistic license was required here to reflect how dramatically I felt the change! A lot of planning, mainly around what, and how, I would eat happened up to the day before he went). And boy, you really do notice the fact that you can’t just say to someone… “Can you just run upstairs and get me the…..” Oh. Nope. Not there. Sigh.
Thankfully, I’d gotten myself into quite a good routine in the weeks leading up to Himself going; learning to get my own heavy leg into bed at night for instance. Or the ‘day bag’ that I’d bring downstairs in the morning with EVERYTHING I’d need for the day ahead (even daft ‘girly’ things, like a nail file and my lip balm). But no amount of planning for going solo during this time was ever going prepare me for how to deal with a vomiting dog! Thanks Pooch, wonderful timing!
Cleaning up puke unfortunately meant getting on the floor, something I thought I would have more time to master. I stood, staring at the situation, stumped with it, like I trying to figure out a difficult maths equation. Eventually my answer was to use the coffee table as an extra crutch. Being honest, getting down there was a hell of a lot easier than getting up. Darn that shocking upper body strength of mine!
Still, I survived. I made it through the days and nights without Himself. With the help of some very kind souls, I had ‘back up’. But as it turned out, I was a lot more capable than I gave myself credit for. So maybe that tick I put in the box to begin with was merited, I just had an old demon I had to fight one more time. I sure was pleased when Himself walked back through that door 3 days later… ‘absence…’ and all that jazz…!