Now that the worst is over, it feels, sometimes, like I’m left to pick up the pieces of a life or clearing up after a party that has gone horribly wrong.
In the moments of quiet, when I’m trudging up the stairs to my lonely flat or clutching my stomach in the middle of the night whilst it spasms, backwards and forwards, then I wish that I could reclaim a little of what I have lost –
This is the aftermath.
This is the shaking myself up, and dusting myself down, and surveying the damage bit, where the consequences are becoming a little clearer and the costs a touch more dear.
It doesn’t disappear without a trace, you see. It leaves scars, and holes, and unexpected reminders –
An ankle that folds when it’s exerted; teeth that wobble slightly more than they should; muscles that give way where muscles shouldn’t give way; and a stomach that is wreaking its revenge –
And, whilst most of the time I’m just grateful to be still standing and I don’t – for one minute – forget how much I do still have; it is hard, sometimes, to not sense the ravaged landscape behind me and the trail of destruction which lies in my wake.
So, I’ll keep heading forwards (because what other option is there) and I’ll try not to look back (because the past can not be undone); but, I am beginning to realise that the legacy is as cruel as the illness –
And that the aftermath is a twist at the end.