Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Where I am

Posted by Oli on Saturday 1st August, 2009

It’s been a pretty rough time of late and, if I’m honest, I’ve been struggling quite a lot. I’ve not really felt like blogging for quite a while as I’ve been battling with my own daemons and not really wanting to share them with anyone else.

Over the last couple of weeks it’s been slowly emerging why I’m feeling like I am and I’ve come to a few realisations that will hopefully put me on the right path for the next little while. Essentially, I realised, I don’t know how to be well.

I’ve spent so many years ducking and diving in and out of hospital, but since May 2008 I’ve not been admitted, not really been unwell, not had a cough, a cold or so much as a bad case of the hiccups. It’s been all plain sailing and that’s not something I’ve really experienced before – my life has always been broken up into chunks of illness and relative wellness.

What this means is that real life is starting to intrude with a vengeance. I’m actually having to start thinking about “the future”, something that’s always been an alien concept to me as I’ve never really believed I’ve had one. I’ve never planned more than a few months in advance because everything’s always been so unpredictable that I couldn’t. Even last year I had to miss the holiday we’d planned because I was hospitalised with CMV. So it’s strange to be forced to sit down and work out just what the future holds for me, for K and for everyone around us.

I’ve been struggling a lot with making the most of my new life, too – I want to do everything I can to honour my donor but right now I don’t feel that I am. I want to challenge myself both physically and mentally and push myself to find where my new boundaries are, so I’m looking at ways of doing that to make a dedicated, concerted effort to make the most of these lungs and to help my donor to smile down on me and feel proud of the life they’ve given me.

It’s been a tough haul over the last month or so and I’ve had to make some really tough decisions and I know I’ve got some really tough ones to come, but I’m starting – slowly – to feel more confident and energised about what’s on it’s way. I will try from now on to keep this blog more up-to-date with what’s happening and, in particular, my thoughts and feelings about things as I know from before my transplant it can actually be pretty therapeutic.

I can’t promise it’s all going to be sunshine and lollypops on here, or that it’ll even end up being that interesting, but I can promise myself that continuing to write “smile through it” may help to remind me of the long-lost days when everything was a chore and I had more to worry about than not having plans for next February.

Here’s to life: living it, loving it and smiling through it.


7 Responses to “Where I am”

  1. A New Happy Me said

    Hi Oli,

    Good for you! A future is good to have no matter how far in advance you want it to be, but good on you for putting it into perspective, and I cannot see, from what you have done already why your donor wouldn’t be proud of you, you have done such alot that you woulnd’t have already done! Take Care, Love me

  2. Mr M said

    Hey Oli.

    You know whatever path you take (through choice or otherwise), life will always find a way of throwing a curve ball your way that you wouldn’t otherwise expect. Just when you think everything is rosy something will come along that will make you think otherwise. I think, nay believe, the key lies in perspective.

    Having such an incredible life-changing “event” happen to you is not to be taken lightly; it’s going to affect just about everything you do, not just physically but emotionally aswell. At this current time things for me have gone a little pear shaped too. For some reason depression is kicking in. To be honest, I’m really not sure why. When I sit back and look hard at where I’ve come from,the things that I’ve been through and everything I have in life right now I start to question why I’m depressed. What’s there to be down about exactly? I’ve been given an amazingly special opportunity through someone else’s kindness. I should be beaming from ear to ear, but it’s not always as straight forward as that – life changes and that means you/we have to too. From what we used to struggle to do is now (near enough) an old thought at the back of our minds and new set of “challenges” comes forward.

    I too want to do something incredible. Not just for the sake and honour of my Donor but to show (or just perhaps prove) that this persons gift wasn’t in vain. I want to show that I’m not about to waste this opportunity.

    However that goal is achieved differs from person to person. For some it’s doing something for the sake and happiness of the people around them, for others though it’s simply a matter of just living life in the realms of “normality”. No-one can question whether you’ve met those self-imposed expectations or not; only you can decide that for yourself.

    I know it’s always easier said than done but try not to let these moments get the better of you. If they do, I know for damn sure that you have the support of so many people around you that will be there for you if ever that time comes.

    – Mr M

  3. Anna said

    Dear Oli,
    That was so eloquently put. Well done. I totally understand what you mean and where you’re coming from. I think your Mum will too, with she and I having travelled “the road less travelled”, so to speak. Glad to hear you’re alive. It gives me such a good feeling to read your blog(s). You MUST be doing SOMETHING right Ol!!! Keep on blogging.

    Love and best wishes,

    Anna and family xxxx

  4. Jac said

    Glad to see you are still smiling – we can’t do it every minute of every day but it’s a good thing to aspire to! You will already have made your donor proud Oli.

  5. Pauline said

    Can I just say that you don’t have to prove anything to your donor. Please don’t think that you have to be running marathons or climbing mountains – no-one expects that. The fact that you have survived and are grateful is enough. Anything else is a bonus. You don’t have anything to prove. Don’t forget that the work you all do to promote donation is fantastic and really does change people’s lives.
    So, be a little kind to yourself and if you can, try to feel less guilty that you made it.
    I’m very proud to call you my friend and am proud of everything you achieve, big or small.
    lots of love
    Aunty Pxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. GCM said

    Hey Oli
    You don’t know me and I only know you through your blog……… I’m glad you’re back and smiling through it once more. Have missed your news and wondered what you are doing and how you have been.
    To me you are an incredible person and many, many people are proud of you including your donor I am sure.
    Just keep on smiling, living life, loving life………and blogging………..
    ………perhaps struggling from time to time but still smiling and blogging.
    But most of all believe in yourself and all that you do.
    Take care

  7. Audrey said

    It all sounds perfectly normal to me! Good luck with it all, I think you’ve done amazingly already x

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