Things I would tell my younger self

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the advice that I would give my younger self if I could. By this I mean me about ten years ago at the age of 13. I’ve put in a lot of hard work in lots of different ways and I’ve achieved so many things since then. I surprise myself (in a good way) on a pretty regular basis. There are so many things the me of today would like to tell the me of the past. I thought I’d post some of them here:

1.       Always do your physio even though you don’t want to

I am the first to hold my hand in the air and admit that I did not do as much physio as I could, or should have done in the past, despite my parents and the physios always telling me how important it was and encouraging me as much as possible. The fact that I didn’t work hard enough was no one’s fault but my own. I wish I could tell myself not to have that attitude towards physio.

2.       You’ll start to enjoy physio, you know. Yes, really.

Thankfully, I did hit a turning point with this one after I had my surgery at sixteen. I found that I liked pushing myself to try and be able to do more and more and watching myself get better at all of the different exercises I was given. Also, I knew that I wanted to be back on my feet as soon as possible. I started working much, much harder at my physio.  I still enjoy watching myself improve, especially at the exercises I find really hard at first. I will admit though that I could still do more now too.

3.       Your hard work will pay off

I wish that I could go back and tell my younger self just how far my hard work has got me these days. Of course, I haven’t done this alone. I’ve had lots of support from lots of people along the way for which I’m grateful .I personally feel that I can do so much more now than I could back then. I don’t think 13-year-old Nic would believe me if I told her just how far we’ve all come together. Let’s hope it continues for a long time yet because I still feel like I can achieve even more as long as I keep trying. And, as long as I still feel that way, I know I will keep trying.

4.       It’s okay to feel proud of yourself

Often, when I achieved something, I would always try and brush it off and act like it was no big deal rather than letting myself accept that I’d done well. These days, I do allow myself to feel proud of things I achieve and use that as motivation to keep pushing forward.

5.       Everyone needs help sometimes

Because I think I needed to remind myself of that a whole lot more. This brings me on to…

6.       No one can do everything

Maybe this is actually the same point as the one above, but I think that I probably needed to phrase it both ways to myself.

7.       I know you don’t believe me now, but one day, you’ll see

The story of a girl and her wheelchair

Do you remember how I said in my first post that some days were better than others and that I sometimes need to use a wheelchair? I think if I had left the house yesterday I would have taken that with me and given Martha a day off. I knew before I even got out of bed in the morning that it was going to be one of my more awkward days when the Cerebral Palsy likes to remind me that I’m not Super Woman, but still, it wasn’t the worst.

Getting up on a Monday is always tough for anyone, but the first thing I noticed yesterday when I made the leap of faith out from under the duvet other than my usual urge to answer a call of nature was the knot of pain behind my left knee. I could tell as soon as I started walking on it that this knot was settling itself in for day so I popped the heating on (I seize up when cold) and took myself back to bed (any old excuse will do). I hoped that warming myself back up would make it go away. I was wrong. My back then decided to join in with the protest and starting aching like it usually does when I spend too long lying down and demanded that I move around. My leg, and by this point, my hip objected to this greatly. In the end I decided to give up, get up and heat myself up and wheat bag while the lot of them battled it out to see which one of them could irritate me most. I’m still not sure who won.

Although I’ve had my walking frame for as long as I can remember, I didn’t get my first wheelchair until I was 11. I refused up until that point. I can remember being in nursery school and vowing that I would never let myself have one. I even used to try sneak out into the playground without my walking frame sometimes. I never managed it obviously but excitement I got from knowing that I could try and be outside without it made the thought of a telling off afterwards worthwhile.  Yes, I am the first to admit I was a very mischievous little madam with no sense of danger back then. If I had managed it, in truth I would have probably burst into tears when the teacher and caught me, but I still like to think it would have been worth it.  I used to get up to these kinds of antics at home too when I’d launch missions to get upstairs without anyone noticing. We didn’t have handrails then so I wasn’t allowed. I’d usually only make it halfway up before I got stopped but one time I made it all the way to the top and managed to get into my Mum and Dad’s room. I was delighted and started started to look for a place to hide and surprise them later, only to be scooped up and carried back to the living room by Mum much to my disappointment.

Despite all my protests I knew deep down that when I started high school it probably wouldn’t be acceptable to take my major buggy with me anymore.

I was surprised to find that I didn’t regret my choice as much as I thought I would at the time. The chair (otherwise known as Louise) and I have had some fun times too. I still get the giggles when I think about the time one of her wheels came off while my boyfriend was pushing me down a hill (It’s okay – I wasn’t hurt so you can laugh if you want) and I decorate her in tinsel at Christmas time. It took me a long time for me to realise that getting her wasn’t a sign of deterioration like I thought it was, but a practical decision and I am proud that I managed to stop being stubborn long enough to see that.