I have a small confession, and apology, to make before I get into today's daily blog as part of ABI week.
This morning, I did my usual three hours' work at the Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen daily newspapers as part of my graded return. I was feeling incredibly nervous about it, as I am every week. I acted like a prize idiot to Amy, which she didn't, and doesn't deserve. So I want to start by apologising to her, publicly, I'm sorry Amy.
I wish I could say this was a consequence of my brain injury, but unfortunately it is not. As I have mentioned before, us Woods have a habit of over thinking things and letting them build up inside of us and it manifested itself over something tiny, and insignificant. This morning the catalyst was what tie I was going to wear, which was ridiculous and stupid, even to the point of humorous. It actually ended with me having a childish strop and throwing my tie on the floor, like a three-year-old!
To stop this happening next week Amy has recorded a video of me telling myself everything will be fine and I have nothing to worry about. Looking back on it, I have a little way to go before any public motivational speaking.
Right, back to the blog!
On the theme of work, I want to talk about, and pay tribute, as well as say a huge thank you to the people I have already mentioned; my boss Roger, and the editors of each paper, Kevan and Jenny. All three of them, as well as everyone I work with, have been incredibly supportive of me and my continued recovery throughout this hard time. Newspapers get a bad reputation. Well let me just reassure everyone, not every newspaper is bad. Throughout my career in newspapers, I have met, and worked with, lots of amazing and incredible people. And as has been shown to me throughout this whole experience, none more so than at my current place of work, I have felt so valued, missed, wanted and supported, which gives me a lot of confidence for my continued recovery.
In return, it then motivates me to give so much more back WHEN, and not IF, I return to work, and repay their faith and kindness by being as good as I can be at my job, if not better. Not that I need any extra motivation because I love being a sports journalist, it is something I have always wanted to be, as I have said before; that, or an astronaut. But I'm bad with heights, so journalism it was!
No pressure has been placed on me at all to do better, or more, than I am able to do. In fact; it has been the complete opposite; I have been given as much time as is needed to get as strong as possible. You have no idea how much easier this has made my journey back.
I wish every work place could be as supportive of brain injury survivors as mine. All it takes is communication and openness as to what challenges there are to overcome. For example, my memory is not the best, but at work they try and write down or email me a summary of everything we have talked about. These simple steps can mean the difference between not working and regaining independence through work.
This afternoon we went swimming, which is quickly becoming one of my favourite parts of the week. Swimming has played a big role in my recovery and recently has become an integral part of our weekly routine. It means we can do lots of exercises without the fear of me falling over and hurting myself. You can fall all you like in the pool, you'll just get wet, but do make sure someone is there to help you up!
Today I hit a new milestone as I swam two lengths of backstroke, without my woggle! It is really important to recognise each and every achievement as this will drive me to the next milestone.
Thanks for reading