This blog post may be a little different as it’s not solely based on my leg or amputation, although it is still a major part in this, but as a reflection of my life this past year and how things have changed for me because sometimes it’s nice to look back and see how far you’ve come.
This time last year I feel I was at quite a low point in my life, I was close to finishing my first year at sixth form which for those who knew me then was not a place I wanted to be. I had my life planned when I began sixth form, chosen my future career path I wanted to pursue and as the months went on it was clear that it wasn’t the best option for me. I am very much a hands on person, I learn by doing things. Not by revising or studying things but by actually having a go at them, so the subjects I had chosen weren’t right for me. Realising that for myself my motivation for the path I had chosen became none existent and it was obvious to my teachers that I wasn’t going to be getting anywhere. I was walking out of my classes or choosing to not turn up to them, hiding myself in the common room or going to speak to the support teacher about leaving. I made an appointment at the college closest to me but it was too late to start a course and they told me to just stick it out at sixth form. I was determined to get out, I didn’t want to get my mum in trouble by not attending school so I began looking for an apprenticeship or full time job. I was lucky enough to have found an apprenticeship that appealed to me. Good old Superdrug, my favourite place to go for drugstore cosmetics and now my potential workplace! The day after I applied for it I had an email telling me I was put forward for a phone call interview later that day and after the phone call I was invited to go for an interview with the manager in store. I remember being so nervous but it going so so well and her telling me there and then that the apprenticeship was mine if I wanted it. Something was finally looking up for me. I obviously accepted it straight away and having the feeling of a huge weight lifted of my shoulders. I was finally going to be out of the place that made me miserable. I also had a part time job at a garden centre in the restaurant section at the time and remember having a shift after the interview. I gave in my notice the following day and began to focus on my brighter future. Working in retail wasn’t something I ever imagined myself doing or being good at but it was a risk worth taking, it’s just over a year since I started my apprenticeship and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I like speaking to new people and being that friendly face that they remember and like coming back too!
Being at Superdrug was a test for my dodgy foot. Walking around on it and being on it longer than usual made it hard for me but I wasn’t going to let it stop me, I’ve never ever wanted my leg/foot to stop me doing anything. A couple of months after starting superdrug the thought of amputation came back to mind. It was always a choice I wanted to make but one I thought I never would. After the first hospital appointment ,beginning the process of it all, I told my manager and the people I work with ,they were all super supportive. That’s another reason I enjoy working where I do, I work with the most loveliest and understanding people!
After the amputation my motivation was still going strong and my positivity remained but after the first month or so my moods took a turn and it became a lot harder to deal with mentally. From going to speak to hundreds of people a day to 3 or 4 it was hard for me. I started to feel lonely and isolated. However that was nobody else’s fault, I had to remember that everyone else still had a life to carry on with whilst mine was going steady. My friends made the effort to see me when possible and we even had a few outings to get me out the house but it just didn’t seem enough. I felt selfish for being annoyed when everyone had other plans or couldn’t get round to see me but throughout the day I only had myself as company and when all you’re doing is being negative you just need an escape.
Something I won’t go into too much detail about but will still add in seeing as it’s been a part of my year, I finally cut off ties with my biological dad. There’s a whole other story as to why but it was something I felt strongly about. I was waiting until my 18th for then he no longer had the need to be in my life and I was able to wave him off. I am however blessed to have my step dad that from day 1 filled that position to be my dad.
The month my birthday came around just felt like a race against time to get my prosthetic leg, get walking and get out. I’d always been looking forward to my 18th and finally being legal to go out and enjoy a drink with my friends but looking back now I probably rushed it. On the day of my birthday i was able to take my prosthetic leg home and would have been able to go out the weekend of my birthday like I’d always wanted too. I did really enjoy myself and have done every other time I’ve gone out but probably in a different way than others or not as much as I’d have liked.
Going out with friends is always a tricky one for me. I fight myself in my own head. It’s like I go out and I get excited to be out and can enjoy myself but at the same time I’m overthinking everything. Is the floor okay for me to walk on? Are people looking? Are they judging? When can I sit down? These things seem so silly when I look back on them because I usually don’t care what people think of me, I am who I am at the end of the day but when I’m out I try so hard to fit in instead of feeling as though I’m sticking out. A lot of people aren’t bothered, as far as they’re concerned I’m just another person but then you’ve got the judgmental people who stare and talk. It’s never got me down to a point where it’s stopped me from going out but it’s always in the back of my mind. You’ve got some people who look at the leg or the walking sticks before they look at me or get to know me and just act differently, I wish that wasn’t the case but I suppose it’s how people are. Outfits are a nightmare to pick out, you want to look nice and wear something you would have usually wore but then the leg just doesn’t work with it and you then end up feeling uncomfortable. The worst thing also is having gorgeous friends, I can go out with the girls and be so proud of them when they end up pulling someone or can joke with them when they’ve pulled and hadn’t wanted too but for once I’d love to be in that position, I feel like my friends are the loveliest main course and I’m that bit of salad at the side that everybody leaves . I’m hoping that in time these feelings and thoughts will go and I’ll eventually be so used to it that it will be my new “normal” until then it’s something I’m putting up with.
At the moment I’m currently off work again and pausing my life due to an infection I’d been so unlucky to have gotten. I feel as though it had probably been building for some time but then just suddenly came out over night. The positive out of it all though is that after being taken to hospital (in an ambulance, twice! Which was on my bucket list…don’t ask) is that we think it has now gone. I was quite poorly for a couple of days and had to have a small operation to remove the infection but now I’m just on oral antibiotics and resting. It’s boring and frustrating but it’s something that will pass.
I feel this may have been the longest blog I’ve ever done and I hope, if you’ve managed to finish it, that it didn’t bore you too much! I’ve not done a blog for a while due to just not knowing what to write about but I’m hoping to get back into it again and be a bit more regular with positing again! Thank you for reading this little autobiography of the past year of my life haha!