Apparently, having the ability to make plans means I’m getting better.
I’ve got no argument to that, no reason to disagree with it. It must be true. I used to have big plans, plans for the next five years in a vague kind of way, plans for the future twelve months more solid and tangible.
And then… nothing. Unable to plan because I had no idea what was coming next. Living, quite literally, second to second to second. Minute to minute.
A lot of people use that phrase… “living by day by day”. I mean it literally. In the early days, those first horrible deep purple days filled with pain and the hitched rhythm of a ventilator, it was second to second. The tiniest things– walking, operating an elevator– they all required some level of concentration, as if I’d never done them before, ever. I was unable to plan further than the next two minutes– now I will walk to the car, now I will drink this cup of tea, now I will choose the clothes may husband is to be buried in– because doing so, trying to think what I would do would with myself tomorrow, or next week– that was terrifying. I often didn’t know how I’d make it through the night, let alone to the next week.
But gradually planning minutes became planning days. Being able to commit to an event a week or two in advance and know I’d be mentally competent enough to handle it. I can write into my diary play dates and lunches with friends. I can even start to rebuild those vague plans of where my son will go to school, and how exactly that will be. It no longer scares me to consider what things will be like in week or a month or even a year.
OK– that’s a lie. I’m still scared. I’m terrified. But I think everyone is. And being afraid, that’s OK. As long as your life goes on regardless– as long as you look that fear in the face.