This post is written to thank all the people who have stood by me during the last four years. Without their love, guidance and support, I would not be here today.
Four years ago I was knocked from my bicycle on the way to work. What followed has been horrendous for both me and my family.
I have lived in continuous and severe pain which has gradually worsened since the accident; my medical support team tell me that it will continue to worsen. What should improve is my ability to live with and manage the pain.
I have lost my Job, the ability to do all the hobbies I once enjoyed, but far and away more important I lost the ability to partake fully in the lives of my wife and our two beautiful, loving young children. The guilt associated with being unable even to ascend stairs to kiss them good night is hard to bear.
I started writing in attempt to give myself something to do; I also conducted a massive soul search and realignment project which aimed to redesign my inner self, my soul, such that it could live in the new, less capable, body.
This uncomfortable and often dangerous journey continues. So far I have become a Christian, found new friends, who are there for me before I need ask. I have plumbed the very depths of despair and surfaced again. I constantly endure pain which despite using powerful Opiates is sufficient in intensity to make me black out at times.
Despite all of this I am still here.
The following poem is - believe it or not - a poem of hope; it serves to remind me that I never was a quitter. I hope you can find something in it too.
Four Years On
The memory is not important
Screech of breaks, shattered glass,
burst of fear, anger, pain;
that is how it started,
she just pulled out.
The loss that’s what truly counts
Feet pound along beautiful cliff paths,
bicycles, kayaks, water skis;
that’s what was lost,
everything I enjoyed.
No, It’s deeper, much worse
The essence of everything loved
Wife, Children, Friends, Job;
all of them suffer,
Torn asunder, shredded.
Self image, destroyed, hated
unimaginable pain, imaginable,
insomnia, tears, vomit;
these unwanted parasites,
devour all joy, never cease.
Every day, a new battle
continuous cycle of pain management,
exercise, therapy, stretches, drugs;
just to stay stable,
the gradual decline evident.
The one desire, end it, end it all
screech of brakes, shattered lives,
pain, despair, guilt;
fight, don’t quit, pray.
Put cares aside, trust the Lord,
true friends lend shoulders and listen,
plan, strive, achieve;
Four years on,
Pain worse, but hanging in.
John Carré Buchanan
08 August 2012