Writing 101 assignment today is called Serially Lost – something or someone that was part of your life but not anymore – to reflect on how it felt, why it happened, and what changed because of it.
I found I had lots to write about loss or something lost, what should I choose – the list is kind of long with all the usual suspects for a topic of this nature. Then it struck me after a conversation at work today about my upcoming tall ship adventure – I would write about my little blue car!
My little blue Honda Jazz that I had bought brand new out of the showroom over 10 years ago. It was a little manual car that I loved. Oh what memories – the feeling I had when I first drove it home, the holidays taken in it, running myself over in it (don’t ask – long story!), the day trips out – I even have a photo of that little car on the overnight ferry to Northern Ireland. I think one of the best memories I have of this car is when we moved over to Northern Ireland – everything we owned was packed in a removal truck. We literally only had the clothes on our backs, this little car and our little Pippy Bear Slippers (the house rabbit) stowed away in a very large cardboard box that took up the whole of the boot. I would love to know what other people in the queue for the ferry must have thought with the number of security officers that descended on our car at the check in – they must have thought we had something in there that we shouldn’t have had! It started off with one security person, they called someone else and before we knew it there were five of them “ooo-ing” and “ah-ing” at our stone in weight bundle of floppy eared fluff in the boot.
I had this car for nine years, I could only physically drive it for the first four years, after which it became a car that we could only go out in if my husband was driving. My accident and subsequent disability put pay to driving a manual car however I could not bear to part with her. She was all mine, right down to her number plate, my little pride and joy. Plus I was determined to drive her again – in my mind I would get better, be able to walk without crutches and be able to drive my little manual car. So there she sat, for the best part of five years waiting for me to get better. Until one day I knew I had to let her go, I had to let her get back out there on the open road – after all that is what a car is for – certainly not sitting on a driveway with trips out once in a blue moon.
The day I made the decision to sell her was the day I also turned a corner with my disability. I went from resolutely working and striving to get myself better, with disappointment and depression when everything I tried failed – the yo-yo effect; to taking each day as it comes, living for the moment and using whatever aids, adaptions, etc that would make my life easier to manage living in constant pain; if I happen to get better in the process then that will be a bonus – I will be dancing from here to half way round the world and back in celebration, after all no one wants to be in pain 24/7. I realised that I certainly could not live on the rollercoaster of ups and downs and the disappointment of treatments not working for the rest of my life, so I had to find a different way of thinking and a different way of living.
I had kind of half got to the acceptance stage of being in chronic pain and living with a disability way before this point, and selling my car gave me a further nudge to accepting the different kind of life I now lead due to my disability. Accepting that I am in chronic pain and learning to live differently does not mean I have taken the easy way out and given up trying to live life or get better. To me taking on the challenge of accepting my illness has enabled me to create a life beyond chronic pain by trying to lessen my symptoms using distraction techniques, along with finding life’s little pleasures that I enjoy. I am not all the way there though, I don’t accept my illness 100% because I don’t wholly accept that this is my lot. However I am certainly not completely at the other end of the scale where I was up and down like a yo-yo with it all. In fact my little pride and joy was slowly becoming that nasty, horrid torment of a child in the playground, you know the one – the one that won’t let you join in the game and glares at you going “nah-nah-na-nah-nah”. She became less important in my life and by the time I sold her I had been driving automatic cars for four years, so it wasn’t as if I needed her to get about as I had another car – there was just that part of me though that kept saying I will drive a manual car again. The stubborn part. The part that won’t give in. That very same part that drives me now to get up every morning and brave the outside world in agony, the part that gives me the courage to put a smile on my face, go to work each day, and be as bubbly as I can be through the pain.
One day it dawned on me that I actually like driving my automatic car and why was I keeping my little manual just sitting there on the drive going green with mossy weed on the window trims and possibly slowly rusting away in the salt sea air. So what if I couldn’t drive a manual again. So what if I could (shrugs shoulders) – I could always buy another if I really wanted to. I wasn’t totally brave though when I sold her. I could not have been there when some stranger drove her away off the drive. I just wanted to come home and find her gone – one minute there and one minute gone. So my husband sold her when I was away visiting family in England for a few days – went away and she was there, came back and she was gone.
I can’t say I didn’t cry when I came home to find her not there – it was like a great betrayal had occurred.
My baby was gone!
I often wonder did I grieve over the car I had lost when I came home or was I crying because the pressure I had placed on myself to drive her again had been lifted from my shoulders. Looking back now, I think I was grieving for the way of life I had lost, for all the changes and sacrifices that had been made by me and my family. The tears were for this grief and for the pressure lifting from my shoulders that I had not realised was there.
This has been quite a thought provoking post, and yes I have had tears in my eyes whilst writing this, however I must look on the plus side to the selling of my little blue car – the proceeds of her sale has opened a new chapter in my life and has given me a great opportunity that I never thought I would have again – that of sailing a tall ship in the tall ships races 2015. If my little blue car was still sat on my drive today I would not have been sailing to Norway this summer!
So from a sale I get to sail!