It is sometimes hard not to fall into the trap of saying ‘why does it always happen to me?’ Especially after a life-changing injury or event. Today was supposed to be the big fundraising weekend for my London Marathon, but we have had to cancel due to the snow. Now I know the snow is not here just to ruin my plans and has scuppered plenty of things all over the country. Best laid plans and all that. But it is hard sometimes not to feel like the whole world is against you.
Today was and is important to me because it is exactly five years today since the bleed on my brain occurred. In brain injury circles we refer to this date as our ‘second birthday’.
I have had five years getting to know myself again - the new me - testing my limits and understanding how much has changed.
In these last five years, Amy and I have worked hard to regain some sense of the life which was taken from us. We have finally accepted defeat in some areas and are still fighting for others. Five years ago I could not walk or talk - and I try not to forget that every time I hold our son or cook for my family.
I don’t like dwelling on the past and bringing up memories of ‘March the 2nd’ - but please allow me this day to do some dwelling! Five years ago - even three years ago - I couldn’t imagine being married and starting a family. In many ways I have been so lucky to have managed to achieve many things since that awful day - like reporting at two World Cups in 2015 and 2016. Reggie is the light of my life and brings so much fun into our days. I have worked hard on establishing a new life by the coast and Amy is even jealous of me and jokes I have more friends down here than her!
Finally, I have learned the true value of looking at the positives in life which is probably a good point to finish on and hand over to the best positive to ever happen to me - Amy.
Five Years - Amy
I think if I am completely honest it is only now - five years on - I can only fully understand all we went through. At the time of Will’s bleed I was just 21-years-old. Up until that point I had lived a life without too much heartache and suddenly everything changed. As a person, I internalise and don’t ask for help when I truly need it - I am still dealing with the repercussions of this even now both mentally and practically.
I hate talking about Will being in hospital, I hate talking about it because I don’t want to remember him with the 41 staples in his head. I don’t want to remember him crying in his sleep. I don’t want to remember spending countless hours in hospital waiting rooms. I don’t want to remember Will unable to move his left-hand side. I don’t want to remember Will asking to come home and us not being able to take him. I don’t want to remember a hospital accidentally telling me Will was dead. I don’t want to remember watching Will have seizures. I don’t want to remember Will sobbing for his old life.
For so many years our lives were frozen in time and we have been desperately trying to play catch up ever since. I know how lucky we are, but I also know how unlucky we are.
I am so thankful for friends who have had to go above and beyond for us so many times and who are always there whenever my happy exterior disappears. I know it must be hard to be our friends or family because we have needed so much over the years and I am always aware of this and try as much as I can to cope with everything.
I am plagued with thoughts all of the time of whether we should have started a family because we can’t cope without support. I am constantly doubting myself that I could always be doing more to help Will. I always feel like I am failing at something.
But on this day - the anniversary of the day which changed our lives - I must remember all of the good we have in our lives. I must remember Will is still here and whatever happens in the future we can do it together.
Above it all we want to say thank you. Thank you to incredibly supportive family, awesome friends and Headway for helping us survive the last five years.