IN REARVIEW // May 2017

A third of the year has passed by the time May begins, but it feels a third of a lifetime since January - so much has changed since.

I start the month on that new shore - my new home - with the hospital ward no longer a place I must visit. I have been discharged. I am free!

I have a new place now to be: my own space - my own tenancy - but with people still on hand to support me. I am an alien in unfamiliar territory - the silence deafens me; the space disorientates me; this is new ground and it will take some time to navigate it properly - but it is mine and it is a million miles from hospital and, for now, that is more than enough for me.

I throw myself into making it feel like home; into gradually rebuilding a life I can inhabit properly. There are a million support sessions and appointments to attend - a sea of new faces to meet - but I get to know them, slowly, and they begin to get to know me. I join a walking group and we pile into buses and take to the hills - the fresh air and change of scene a welcome reprieve in the middle of the week. I join a writing group and find surprising enjoyment in letting my guard down creatively. I catch up with friends and spend time with family; binge on Netflix and crochet; try to run again - not always successfully!

Old habits die hard and I find myself reaching for bad ones, in the midst of everything - a security blanket wrapped tightly around me. They are painfully irritating - not at all comforting, really - but for a while I am consumed by their familiarity: something known to cling to in the midst of so much change. I know that shaking them will take hard work in the coming days. I am a little bit afraid.

But as the month comes to a close, I try to give myself a break from both this unfamiliar planet and my head full of worries. I hop on a plane to Spain and focus on relaxing and enjoying myself for a week. There are mornings swimming laps around the pool and afternoons spent lapping up ice-cream; there are days exploring new cities and evenings quizzing and cooking Spanish feasts; there is a solid dose of Vitamin D and, most of all, a welcome break from my routine. I am hopeful that the pause will help things settle, but I go into it knowing that, if not, it can wait 'til I get home. "Home!" That wonderful word that I can once again claim as my own!

Glen Tanar walk
Cult of Coffee Aberdeen
Selfie with black lab
Cafe Cognito Aberdeen
Cat sleeping Campoamar beach Orihuela Costa
Canal walk Villamartin Orihuela CostaAwkward mirror selfie


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