WATCH ME GO!

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(Image courtesy of indoortrainingbikes.com – Bing Images)

I haven’t said much about trying to improve my fitness at the gym for a good while now. The last post I wrote, WORKING OUT, about it was over a year ago and you can read it here: https://elliethompson.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/working-out/ if you want to find out where I started from. It has been up to now a very personal journey.

When I started out, I wasn’t even able to get changed without the assistance of a carer, who I didn’t have with me at the time. I was lifting pencil-like weights in an attempt to strengthen the muscles in my arms, and then recovering by downing a smoothie in the fitness centre’s cafe. That was about my limit back then.

Since then, I’ve been going a couple of times a week, fitting it in between college, my voluntary work at Uni, living my daily life, leisure times, chilling out etc. I can honestly say that I do thoroughly enjoy what I do (and I know I am lucky to be able to say that now. Those of you who know me from even a year or so back will know that it hasn’t always been like this, particularly from my mental health perspective). I’m not saying that there won’t be other difficult times ahead, but I feel more able to deal with them now.

Going back to my post … my gym training has really paid off, and I’m so pleased it has. I can now get changed by myself in the disabled shower and changing room. I’m much stronger. My arms, which were struggling with small efforts, can now take my weight and I can lift myself up out of my chair which is allowing me to stand more easily. My back and shoulders are straighter and my neck no longer needs a support. Even my legs are getting stronger (after all these years of thinking I couldn’t do it). Finally, today, I reached my first big milestone! I managed (with very little assistance) to get on an exercise bike and I was even able to push the pedals around very slowly. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am! 🙂 My next aim is to walk with the aid of crutches, and what’s more, I know I can get there.  You just watch me!! 🙂

 

 

A STRONGER WOMAN (I WILL RISE)

For those of you who know me well, you will understand, I expect. For those of you who are not familiar with my story, it may be helpful to read a previous post at https://elliethompson.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/the-sting-the-toxin-within/

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I’ll rise – Maya Angelou.

 

You will not ‘trod me in the very dirt’ – I will not allow it – I am stronger than you gave me credit for, three years, nine months and eleven days ago, to be exact.

You left me that day, the day my father died. You left me, a whimpering, callow wreck, on the lowest storey – the basement of my life. You left me for dead.

Did you not think that I would survive? Did you honestly think I would perish without your permission to do even as so much as breathe? Honesty? You do not know the meaning of the word.

Well, I tell you now … you have not won; you have not destroyed me as you might have liked to have done. You will see that I mean it when I say ‘justice will be done’. You have no idea what I have in mind for your wicked mentality and your sick soul.

But, I am not a law-breaker, nor a criminal but I am strong. Strong enough now, (no thanks to you) to beat you down with the very authoritarian stick you used against me for those eight years of therapy at your abusive hands. Those hands should have been safe hands. I trusted you, and you betrayed me by almost taking my life.

I have decided to take action, legally and from a moral standpoint. I am lodging a formal complaint about the ‘therapeutic’ abuse that you inflicted on me back then. Do you think that I don’t know that you are still preying on other vulnerable lives – that you still hold your accreditation in your deceitful hands? This situation is so wrong, so very wrong and I will not stand by and see other innocent lives destroyed in your wake.

It will not be easy for me to stand and face you in a court of law and you would never have credited me with the strength to do so back then but I have become strong now. And although I have tears in my eyes, I may bend but I will not break. I will no longer cower in fear at your disapproval.

I claim back that power that you so willingly took from me. I claim it back as my own. I will not shatter like glass. I will not disintegrate in front of your very eyes. No way!

I AM A STRONG WOMAN AND I WILL RISE LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES.

phoenix from the ashes

 

CHANGES…

So much is going on in my life at the moment….so many changes, that I haven’t had time to write my blog for nearly a week which is unlike me. My world has been totally upside-down these last few days. I could sort of see it coming from a distance yet felt powerless to stop it all going on. Sometimes change is necessary, either because it’s out of our hands and something in our lives isn’t right or a change of direction, a detour down an unknown avenue etc has to happen for a reason..

Firstly, at some point, I almost lost my faith, not quite completely but near enough. It didn’t feel good – I felt like a boat drifting in a turbulent sea with no anchor to fasten me to reality. I’ve posted about my faith before. It matters to me although for a while, back there, I felt I had abandoned it or somehow it had abandoned  me. I knew there was still a small spark left but felt completely lost. I’ve spent weeks adrift from my old church and was visiting others in the area where I searching for that place of worship that fulfilled both my spiritual needs and my social ones. My search proved fruitless and I was drifting further and further away from God.

(c) Thomas (Tom) Henry Roskell; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Running concurrently alongside this was the fact that my Care Agency decided to dump me with only one week’s notice. This wasn’t because I had been rude or abusive in any way, nor because I was a nuisance but because I had a voice and spoke up for myself, assertively but politely and the Manager didn’t like hearing the truth about her failing agency (due to them not taking care of their staff thereby enabling them to do a good job….they just were not given the time and everything had to be done at break-neck speed and therefore not thoroughly). I won’t go into details about the lack of care and respect to myself and my home that I experienced….suffice it to say, it left a hell of a lot to be desired.

Meanwhile, as far as my family life was concerned….no change there! I haven’t seen my children or grandchildren for best part of a year now. Although I am trying my best to come to terms with the fact that this is going to be what my son and daughter want, it doesn’t stop it hurting like hell.

Other changes were afoot also but I won’t go into them here for fear of boring the pants off my readers.

Something needed to change but did I have the courage to deal with it all? It seemed not at the time but apparently (so i’ve been told), I am a strong person despite the fact that I feel like a mouse in a world of lions.

I decided to go back to my old church and although it is not perfect (but then is anything perfect?), I have to say walking back through those doors did feel like ‘coming home’ and I know I have made the right decision, with God’s guidance.

As for my Care Agency, I think it might be for the good after all as I have found a different agency, all be it at short notice, who seem far better and who are starting with me on Monday morning. I’ve met my new carer and we really get on well.

So, I guess it goes to show, change (all be it difficult sometimes) can be for the better. Perhaps…..just perhaps, this is the beginning of a positive upturn to my life and I now for certain that I need God by my side. 🙂

AND STILL I RISE (Maya Angelou)

AND STILL I RISE (MAYA ANGELOU)

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

 

Image

I owe so much to this wonderful, courageous, woman. When i first read this poem, it filled me with inspiration and admiration, and the concept of  ‘And Still I Rise’ filled me with determination to recover from where i had been in my life, lift myself out of the mud, and to carry on fighting for MY freedom to speak about whatever i please. There may well be times when i do or maybe even, need to dip into the mud for a short while but i darn well don’t intend to stay there! Life’s too short.