1 universe, 9 planets, 196 countries, too many islands to count, 7 seas and I have the privilege of marrying you – Carly Taylor
Writing a blog doesn’t come easy to me, it’s sometimes hard to find words that express how I feel at a specific moment of time. Everything in my head makes perfect sense but when I’ve written it down it just doesn’t flow. I’m currently sat with my headphones on listening to my favourite artist Ben Howard hoping for some inspiration!…
Before my accident I stumbled across Ben Howard randomly on iTunes, his songs seemed at the time, easy to listen to sort of music, he was constantly being played on my iPhone and in my mini to and from work. About 2 months before the accident I found myself at hospital more than I saw myself at home, not only was I doing my placements at my local hospital for my uni course I was also admitted to hospital with viral meningitis. Yes it was horrendous but I told myself life could be worse and yes my life did get worse. Throughout recovering from being ill, music eased the pain and one song carried me through the sleepless nights a song called Promise, this was the song I listened to in Salisbury hospital as my mum and Nelly left me for the night so I would have it on repeat. Maybe I love this song because I started listening to it at such a significant time of my life or maybe because it’s called promise and I’ve promised myself to never ever give up,either way it’s always going to be a special song to me.
I never use to like talking about myself previous to my accident, I use to find myself pretending life was like a postcard glimpse of a beautiful beach or a polished village but the more I think about it my life, it was like a shabby house with the secret gardens and the sprouting weeds between the paved drive because of low self esteem, worry and the feeling of failure and it still is! Everyone has those hidden places and although I can’t change what happened, I can still talk about the past, present and future and through all of these times there were and are beautiful moments to cherish and recall.
Recently I’ve had many days where feeling sad seemed to take up the majority of my day. Although I am lucky to have support and strength around me, I crave a normal life. The life where you can just get up and embrace the day and only have the worry of what to have for dinner instead of waking up and wondering what hurdles am I going to face today. A meaningless question to some can tip my mind onto a certain edge where no one can help me, the question of how’s the wedding plans going is an innocent question and my polite response is satisfying enough to others but to me it’s far from the truth. I’m not going to sit there and tell people how hard and frustrating it has been, as I don’t want people to take pity but believe me it’s hard. It’s easier to write it down that’s for sure, I wish I was a normal bride who’s only worry is the dress or walking down the aisle instead of being left with a list of issues that just keeps getting bigger. Not being able to feel if something is marking my skin can make me really unwell so having my dress as comfortable as can be is essential, I can’t even predict myself what different clothes can affect me and this recently has been a massive worry to me as I don’t want to be ill on our wedding day. I want to feel perfect and relaxed. Gone are the days if something was uncomfortable I could just move it around or take it off! From day one I’ve wanted to walk down the aisle like most brides but sadly it’s not going to happen, many tears have been cried and I don’t think anyone apart from me will ever understand how much I’ve let myself down. Something so simple like walking is almost impossible for someone like me, the only place I see myself walk is in my dreams now. Life in some ways has become very interesting, as painful it is to not walk down the aisle it’s become my greatest strength as nothing is going to stop me marrying my soul mate. I’m petrified as to how people around me see me, I don’t want the feeling sorry for me tears or the awkward conversation I just want to be accepted for being me but most of all I want to find the confidence to let go of what could of been and soak in the what’s happening right now. Our wedding is going to be unique, it’s going to test us both just because our mountain maybe harder to climb, doesn’t mean we’ll never get there it just means we’ll be stronger once we reach the top.
I’ve always been someone who has cherished friendship, as no matter who you are, you need that someone that you can completely be yourself with. Since my accident I have been upset by people who I thought were my friends and until recently I’ve struggled to understand how people could hurt you so much by actions and things they say. But time has gone by and now I don’t feel sad for someone who upset me, I feel sad that they’ve lost someone who would have shown empathy and consideration. I’ve had time to think about many things in my life and something’s are simply easier to let go and say goodbye to and this is one of them.
I often notice the change in seasons, there’s something about staring out of a car window looking out to sea and saying absolutely nothing. It’s the simplest way to reflect and sort of rejuvenate oneself; it almost sets me up for the next day. As the months get warmer going to the gym has become a more of a regular thing. The reward I personally feel afterwards gives me that little bit of strength that I can sometimes forget I have. I know without such a supportive family, friends and fiancé I would have certainly given up a long time ago. It’s quite easy to take what you have for granted until something tragic happens and you find yourself helpless and needing those close to you to help build that safe home you need. Without them I wouldn’t be me, I wouldn’t be here. So thank you.
Sometimes I’d rather not ponder on how situations are going to work out, it’s easier to get straight into the situation and worry once something has happened. As I’ve said before I’m so lucky to have such awesome friends and some of my closest friends all spared a weekend to share with me for my hen party. Knowing I wanted to stay in Cornwall my lovely bridesmaids organised a weekend away at a place called Lower Barns, this place was a hidden gem nestled in the middle of nowhere the perfect place for me. There were many moments throughout the weekend where seeing my friends laugh and have fun almost felt part of the medicine that would make me better. At times it felt weird being away from Nelly as normally wherever I go he goes, but it made me realise I could just about survive without him! Being away was hard, there were times where being in a wheelchair couldn’t be anymore frustrating if only I just just jump up and get on with what everyone else was doing it would almost feel like I was in heaven. Seeing how beautiful my friends looked easily made me sad, sad in a way that they were walking, smiling, beautiful girls and I’m not one of them. But the longer I cried and self pitied myself made me realise how my bridesmaids and friends wanted to be here for me, share the weekend with me and they wanted me to enjoy it, they did this all for me!. So in the end I guess I can say it’s another thing I can tick off my long list of getting my head sorted, another hurdle over. I’ll keep moving and keep constantly redefining my life. I found the secret to my happiness is to free my head of negative thoughts, which once I figured that out I couldn’t stop laughing and letting my friends see the crazy Carly that they knew and wanted to be friends with was still around. And for that I need to thank Jody, Lucy, Rebs, Abi, Caroline, Kelly, Mum, Peta, Carla, Nikki, Charlotte, Sarah B, Sandi, Emily, Michelle, Anna, Gem, Sarah, Louise, Aunty Kathy, Sara, Stephen and Benji for giving me the confidence to be myself :).
I’ve always been a private person but since having this accident, it seems like my life has now been turned into an unpolished, untidy and perhaps a beautiful story. Life has certainly become very interesting but with all of my pain it’s now become my greatest strength. I want to show people how life doesn’t stop after being paralysed, so that’s why Nelly and I have decided to be part of a documentary. A documentary that will show a glimpse of what it’s like to be like me, mine and Nelly’s day-to-day routine, an insight into our family life and our wedding. It’s filmed very sensitively and completely natural which is what we wanted and shows how you can live a relatively normal, healthy, life with paralysis. Since the documentary is still on going I can’t really say much more than this and don’t know when it will air yet. All I know is if my story reaches out to at least one person with paralysis or any sort of illness in a positive way I would be achieving one of my goals in life….. so watch this space.
With our wedding less than 2 months away I’m not nervous yet! I’m excited for all the beautiful adventures we have ahead with each other. I can’t forget the precious memories Nelly and I have shared but I can’t wait to create new ones. I’m determined to make our big day special, what lies ahead after that will always remain a mystery. I just have to remember to never be afraid to explore to keep pushing at life and not to regret anything. I will never be able to answer why this happened to me but I can take it in my stride and just keep moving forward hand in hand with my paradise (Nelly).
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