The feedback I received on the first "Fear" post was mind blowing ... so much traffic, likes, comments and personal messages - and I loved every single one of them.
Some of those messages were messages of love and support from friends close and far ... people I talk to every day and people I haven't talked to in a while. It was and still is so heartwarming and it really carried me through some of the roughest days.
And then there was another type of messages - and I really did not see those coming when I posted the blog - and these messages were from people who shared their fears and their struggles with me and I feel so blessed by the trust and openness. Those mails are showing me that I am not alone with my feelings - something I of course rationally knew but getting that feedback so directly is a very different thing. I also realized that fear is a bit of a taboo. It is not easy to show off your weak spots in a world that is all about being strong and hanging in there, but in reality we are all scared and it is a relief to admit, share and talk about it.
And now ... let's follow up on the events:
The time before surgery was insane. I felt completely overwhelmed because everything had to happen at the same time ... I tried to work ahead in the job and prepare the hand over, I had to negotiate contractual stuff, put some things in place for the longer term future and also clean my house and shop and organize a home help / cleaner for the time after hospital and because I was so bored my landlord sent me an email that there was some work scheduled in our basement and I had to clean out my storage before my hospital check in. It just seemed to pile up and pile up and pile up. I clenched my teeth, tried not to cry with just limited success and pulled through it. When I was finally in the hospital the nurses checked several times on me in the days after surgery because I was so quiet and did nothing but sleeping and watching TV. To be honest ... I was so burned out it was really all I had energy for.
The surgery itself ... I made it through it. It all went well - no complications, but I would lie if I would say I am fine and that my fears did not come true. It hurt much when I woke up with a 20 cm incision and when they made me get up the first time in the evening it felt like somebody stabbed me with a hot burning knife. There was a lot more pain which got only more bearable when the nurses decided to change the pain medication, but it didn't and still doesn't go away easily. They cut through the muscles and nerves, you know. They had also to do lot of work on the inside and put in a lot of sutures to close vessels they cut right through and stitched things in place - and to be honest with you - it feels exactly like that. No fun folks, no fun.
I am recovering now and I never adored my body more. It is a really big job to get things right again - to actually heal - and I can see and feel the steps forward every day, but I am not there yet. The scar still hurts and I often lie in bed on my back like a bug you kicked over and have no clue how to turn without causing a stinging pain in the scar.
I am also struggling with the weakness. I am not my usual running around self. Every time I pretend to be normal, take some pain killers and do a walk to the mall or something, I am shattered afterwards and need to sleep. It turns out healing is exhausting and everything on top is pretty stressful. The doctors were not kidding when they said it takes at least six weeks. Today I am three weeks in and it really doesn't feel more than half way through.
Never the less .... even now when it turned out that the fears were justified it is STILL better to be in the situation and dealing with it than awaiting it in fear. I find that is generally true in almost all situations: the fear is worse than the event itself. That's something to really keep in mind when your fears try to unfold their paralyzing effect again!
The work situation - I made my decision. As some of you know HP sold Snapfish - the company I am working at for eight years now. I had to decide if I would take the transition offer or not. After some consideration I opted for the transition and since October 1st I am no HP employee anymore. It feels a bit weird after such a long time, but it was one of the things that had piled up in front of me and while we will still have to see where this all leads to - I made my decision. That episode is behind me as well and new one just started.
Speaking of just starting ... I also managed to discuss and clarify some very important things for the project "big change / fresh start" that is on the schedule next year. When the paperwork is done which will and needs to happen before the end of the year, I will clarify what this is all about. It's still scary but also very awesome and I cannot wait! So stay tuned ;)
End of the year ... that was another keyword and this is so absolutely not about fear but pure joy!
Right before hospital I booked my flights to Scotland for the end of November to see Mike Vennart live at King Tuts. And while life feels better already with one flight to Glasgow booked it feels even better with TWO because:
BIFFY FUCKING CLYRO
A long year without the Biff comes to an end and Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) will be spent in Scotland. I could not think of any better and more fitting way to start 2016!
So ... I walked down my road despite all the fears - some were resolved, some came true but turned out to be manageable and some more challenges are ahead but there are also some things to really look forward to.
I am wrapping this up with a song from the last artist I saw live before the surgery - Mr. Frank Turner:
Cast off the crutches, cut off the cast
REJOICE, REBUILD, the storm has passed
(Frank Turner / "Next Storm")