Monday, 28 October 2013

Chapter Five

Today has been the hardest day since breaking my leg. You see, I can divide my recovery so far into four parts:

The floor of the climbing centre,
The hospital,
Alistair's parents' house in Ilkley and
Leeds with Alistair

Things have been hard, of course, at different points in those four stages. But I've never been alone. I've always been able to hold Ali's, or someone I love's, hand at the start and end of each day. And though I'm very lucky to have Alistair, I'm perhaps unlucky in the sense that in the four years we've been "going out" with each other, we've never yet had a chance to live together. We're both students working towards that end.
And what's so very hard about stage 5 is that at some point, Ali had to return to Sheffield to carry on with his own life, and I had to learn to reclaim my independence. It won't be the first time I've learned this- I suppose it was the same when I left home for the first time. But this time feels a good deal scarier.

So while people I know have said I've been brave, and done well- I haven't really. I haven't had to cope on my own and although I have friends, I will- for the first time since I broke my leg- have to completely run my own life. Now is when being brave starts.
And I think that doing that with a broken leg is probably the hardest thing I've ever found myself up against. I still feel so vulnerable, without complete physical health. And so isolated from the real world.

I know that in theory I could get on a train and see Alistair tonight. But we both know that in practice I can't. Because unless I wait until I'm fully mobile, which could be a while, it's not going to get easier to start on my own no matter how long I leave it.

It's not just not having Ali around to help that will be hard. I'll miss the opportunities having a car around gave me to get out of the house during the week to places that I just can't get to on crutches. I'll miss the swimming too. And of course, I'll miss living with the person I've wanted to live with for years now anyway.

I hope I can do it.

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