So on Saturday 30th January I travelled to and from a rugby game completely independently. The only problem was the game was then called off quite late on due to a waterlogged pitch - after I had sat there in the stand for 45 minutes on my own in the cold. But I’m still claiming it!
In fairness, I could have asked someone what was going on - especially when I had not seen any players warming up - but that would have been a big test of my already-battered confidence, and seeing as I was already taking a large leap into the unknown by travelling there and back, I didn't want to push my luck too far!
The match may not have taken place, but it gave me confidence I can do both journeys - both there and back - all on my own. Up until that point, I had only done the trip there on my own, with Amy picking me up from the ground afterwards - but I did the journey with no problems.
I have been ‘training’ myself to get to this point over many months. As we have done with all other aspects of my recovery, we have taken things very slowing and increased my independence in tiny steps. First Amy started dropping me off going off for a coffee then picking me up. Then I started to get either their or back and Amy picking or dropping me off. Then now going and coming back completely independently, which feels amazing!
I would always say I was a pessimist - being a Midlander - sandwiched between the optimists in the north and south. My dad always used to say: "Every silver lining has a cloud" - which is typical of his "quirky" sense of humour. Whereas Amy, who is from the south coast, is definitely more of an optimist, which is one of her many amazing qualities. Hopefully it means we balance each other out perfectly like ying and yang - with "balance" being the most popular word married people have said to me about the secret to a good marriage since we got engaged last August.
So the match may not have actually taken place, but it still gave me the confidence I CAN do both journeys - both there and back.
Maybe it is just a little reminder for me I have to continue taking my recovery one tiny baby step at a time.
As I have said before, I cannot dictate the speed of my recovery no matter how much I want to speed it up - "IT" will tell me how quickly to go - no matter how frustrating I find it.
Yes the match may have been called off, but it still showed me I can do both the journey there AND back without anything going wrong, which I must take crumbs of comfort from. The next step for me now is to travel to a match independently - then attend the game - and finally travel home again afterwards by myself.
Overall, it just shows me no matter how quickly I want to get to the finish line - whatever and whenever it may be - I still have to take, or make, tiny baby steps because in the end all of those tiny baby steps add up to something far bigger.