6 years ago today, someone drove out of a no exit road in a stolen car, crashed into me and ran away.
I don’t remember an awful lot about what happened. I don’t remember the impact, or any pain. I have no idea whether I was unconscious for seconds or not. I don’t remember the blood or the tears. But I remember the kindness of strangers. I recall the ambulance, the police, the cocophony of strange noises, the street lights…& I remember his face as he stared at me through the window as I sat trapped in my car as he ran past – leaving me to face up to a life that has never been the same, while he got away.
He has never been found.
I have had every treatment, operation and therapy available to me. Some have worked, some haven’t. I have taken every pain killer that can be prescribed, some take the edge off, others don’t. I have been angry, sad, frightened, lonely, broken, weak…I have cried and I have wished and I have given up fighting.
Most days, I get by OK. Thanks to the love of my friends and the support of my Doctors, the patience of allies and strangers alike. The genius of science and the wonder of psychology and the kicks up the butt from the people who care.
I know that the pain doesn’t define me. I know that I am lucky and capable and that I will be OK. I understand that anger hurts no-one except me and the only way to move forward is to accept that my life will never be the same, and to learn to love the differences. I see that I am a better person now, that I am stronger, kinder…most days I know all of these things.
But please forgive me if on days like today, when the date that I have recited in so many reports and to so many specialists and consultants and solicitors clicks up on the clock again, I allow myself to cry.
You see, no matter how much I have gained from this experience…despite everything I have learnt, all the great people I have met, all the fantastic changes I have made…there have still been losses.
I no longer have the career I worked at. I have lost friends, I have accumulated debts, I have crashed into depression more than once and at my lowest point I have hurt people. I have lost years to medication and hospitals. I can no longer run, swim, walk, sleep or breathe without pain.
There isn’t, and I doubt will ever be, a day that I don’t think about what might have been if I had just left for work later that morning. There hasn’t been a day since that has been pain or medication free. Who knows if there ever will be.
It’s hard. And for one day a year – just one…I will allow myself to wallow, just a little bit…and forgive myself for doing so.
Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.