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Unfiltered Story #252985

, , | Unfiltered | February 7, 2022

Today I got up. I shaved and took a shower. I got dressed, tucked my shirt into my trousers and I walked to the shop and back. I did these things today.
To almost all of you reading this it means nothing at all. These are things you do every day. So does everyone you know. But for a great many people a day like this is a rare and special day.

Today I got up.

I have battled depression for as long as I can remember. Getting out of bed every day is a struggle and when you’re depressed seeing yourself as someone who deserves to be clean and clean shaven is an even bigger struggle. Why should I have clean clothes? Why should I be clean? Who would even care? These are the thoughts that follow you all. Day. Every. Day. So any day that I get up and I shower and I shave is a triumph of my rational mind over the crippling awfulness that haunts me.

I tucked my shirt in.

When I first got injured and the complications meant that my pain levels just kept rising I had a terrible doctor. My doctor had no interest at all in actually diagnosing what was wrong with me so he just kept giving me more and stronger pain killers until I was taking the maximum strength dose of Tramadol (a very nasty opiate) he was legally allowed to prescribe me FOUR TIMES A DAY. It took me a full year for the realisation that this was wrong to make it through my brain and for me to take MYSELF off of tramadol (don’t even ask me about the withdrawal, it was one of the worst two weeks of my life) and by that time I was a mess. My waist had ballooned to an improbable 56 inches and I had developed type two diabetes. I could only walk with leg braces and a pair of crutches and my self esteem was at an all time low. It has taken years of physio and hundreds of hours in the gym and doing yoga to get me to the point that I can even look in a mirror again, and today, I tucked in my shirt. I’m still a long way from the shape I was in before I was injured, and it’ll be a long time (if ever) till I’m there again. But today, I tucked in my shirt and I LEFT THE HOUSE.

I walked to the shops and back.

I have a chronic pain condition and sometimes my knees just stop working. When that happens I stagger around like I’m drunk or get dropped to the ground, often in very public places. This has caused any number of issues with anxiety. When you have a chronic pain condition the prospect of walking to the kitchen to make a cuppa is something you have to psyche yourself up for, it’s not something you can just do. But today, I walked to the shops.

So why, beloved readers, am I telling you all this? It’s not so you’ll feel guilty, none of you lovely people injured me, this isn’t on you. It’s not because I want sympathy or sweet little messages of support (though no one hates those). My point, as ever, is very simple. Next time you’re feeling down just take a second and remember how awesome life is. Stretch, bend and touch your toes and do your happy dance.

Most importantly celebrate all of your achievements. No one should celebrate mediocrity and there’s no prize for second best (or at least there shouldn’t be but that’s another day’s rant) but if you manage to take a step forward on your path. If you do something that is genuinely hard, whether it’s walking to the shop or walking on the moon you go ahead and celebrate, because moving forward is hard. Bettering yourself is hard and when you manage to take that step, no matter how small, you need to celebrate that shit and feel good about it, or you’ll never take the next step

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