Walking around on broken legs

Well just one broken leg but in sticking with the songs as blog titles thing, this is what I went with.

** This is dedicated to my moon boot buddy Bree from work who broke her ankle the night before I did and who’s had it so much worse than me ****

I have deliberated on whether or not to write this, because to be honest, I am not proud of some of my actions and the way I ended up mentally after breaking my ankle recently. The reason for this is that I ended up very depressed and I just kept thinking about the fact that there are people who have permanent disabilities, some have had these their entire lives and some end up disabled later in their lives. And there I was, with my very temporary disability, too depressed to get out of bed and being shit to my loved ones. I figured though that as some of this obviously stems from actually having mental health issues, that I take daily medication for and frankly, mental health issues or not- it was a shitty thing to happen. I think that people (including me) are entitled to feel a sorry for themselves when shit things happen. Why do we have to feel bad when we feel down? Why does guilt play such a huge role in depression and when you get down about the hand you have been dealt in life? I figured the best way to go about this was just to tell the truth and how I felt and try not to get all philosophical about disabilities as I felt that may be a little condescending. So here is the story of my experience breaking my ankle.

It happened when I was heading into the office for work on Friday the 17th March, I’d been working from home for a month and so I was really excited to go in and see all of my friends. The night before I washed my hair, shaved my legs and was ready to face the outside world. That morning I put on my uniform, passed Emily on my way out as she was coming home from nightshift and walked to the bus stop. I walked down the stairs at the bus stop like I had a million times before and thought I’d reached the bottom step- I hadn’t. My stomach dropped along with the rest of me and before I knew it my ankle had rolled and I was on the ground. Honestly, writing this is freaking me out. I replay that moment over and over in my head and it makes me feel sick every time. The night after the accident and for a little bit after I would wake up suddenly after thinking about that moment in my sleep. This was my worst nightmare, I have a legitimately fear this exact occurrence- I used to think my constant fear of rolling my ankle while walking downstairs was irrational but in that moment I knew it wasn’t. It had happened.

This was not the first time I had hurt my ankle (it is the first time its actually broken though, got to thirty before breaking a bone, not too bad I guess). This is the third time I have injured my right ankle and I have also badly sprained my left ankle. The last time I sprained my ankle was almost ten years ago when I was still cheerleading, I rolled it on a gym mat. I was at my heaviest back then though and walked with a limp for a long time. I used to use my ankle pain as an excuse to not exercise but of course I found that as I lost weight the ankle pain went away. I used to walk slowly downstairs and had a real mental thing with my ankle. I realised after I had hurt it this time that I had finally gotten over that, I no longer was careful on stairs and I had no problem exercising. I just hope I get back to that mentality quickly after this recovery.

So I have fallen and people have seen it happen (how embarrassing!!!!) I’m sitting at the bottom of the bus stop stairs, crying and trying not to vomit from how bad the pain is. I lock eyes with a girl who suggests moving to a seat and tell her I have seriously hurt myself, I am not moving. A lady asks if I should call an ambulance- I tell her my sister is an ambulance (my brain is obviously working well) and I call Em who comes and gets me. The wait between the lady leaving me (only after I convinced her it was fine to leave me) and Em coming is awful. I am crying, embarrassed and in so much pain. A few people stop to ask if I am okay- I assure them I am. It was nice to see how many people actually cared about me- thanks Buranda bus station people. Em and I decided not to go to the hospital that day because we both couldn’t be bothered waiting forever in emergency, plus we figured it was just sprained. The next day it was very swollen and very sore, I went to the Doctor, then off to radiology, confirmed it was broken and then off to ED. The kicker was that because it was a weekend, they couldn’t put me in a moon boot as they weren’t available but not to worry- they would call me through the week and I would get the cast swapped for a moon boot. In the following two weeks while I struggled with my cast, I would lament the decision to go on Saturday not Friday, i just kept think “I would be in a moon boot right now, not this awful cast.”

As I mentioned, I was then in the cast for two weeks and a half weeks. I have never had a cast before and man, was it the worst! I was pretty immobile for that time because I had crutches and they are useless! It is absolutely impossible to carry anything at all while using your crutches and if the ground is wet, forget it. I had a scary incident when I tried to go outside with Henry and Daisy and the tiles outside of my apartment building were wet, as soon as I put weight on the crutch, it slipped. What a terrible design! Everything changed- Henry had to take Daisy downstairs to the toilet because I couldn’t hold her lead and crutch at the same time, to wash my hair I had to sit down in the shower with a plastic bag I had taped around my leg. When I ate dinner I had to sit at the bench on a chair instead of the couch and sleeping was almost impossible. The worst part about sleeping is that I move my feet in my sleep and I kept waking up with awful cramps in my calf because I had moved my foot but I couldn’t get it out because it hurt too much to move my foot again. I also had this awful spasming of my tendons that would wake me up as well which again was from moving my foot. I know this sounds pretty inconsequential but when every single thing about how you do day to day tasks changes, its rough. It was also my right foot so I couldn’t drive and I felt pretty trapped inside my house.

It is scary how quickly my mental health slipped, I was starting to feel pretty down even by the end of that first week. It was hard to look after myself and I seriously resented Henry and Emily for being able to go to work and for leaving me. I was lonely, sore and tired. I also don’t think it helps that I wasn’t taking my anti-depressants (I know, I know but I ran out and I couldn’t easily go get them and just kept forgetting as silly as that sounds). By the end of week two I was barely getting out of bed, I just didn’t see the point. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone and didn’t feel like going anywhere even if that had’ve been an option. I was awful to be around, I was angry, resentful and tired. I remember getting ready for something and getting so frustrated I hit the wall in anger- that is absolutely something I would normally do. I snapped at Emily and Henry and treated them like crap even though they were helping me. I still hadn’t heard from the fracture clinic to get my moon boot. I called and called and it just rang out, adding to my frustration. When I finally got through, the lady told me I didn’t have an appointment until the 13th April. I cried after I got off the phone, that was still two weeks away.

On the Monday of the third week, I was at my absolute lowest, I was home alone, had slept until 2pm and was sitting in the kitchen trying to will myself to cook food. I had been mean to my poor boyfriend and started a fight even though he had been amazing and looked after me. Instead of making food, I just sat and cried. Then I remembered
I had gotten two phone calls that morning from the same number- I checked the message and it was the fracture clinic. I could go in and get a moon boot and I made an appointment for Wednesday.

Henry took me to the clinic on the Wednesday, I was given my moon boot and that afternoon we went to New Farm park and I went for a slow but very happy stroll along the riverbank. Everything has looked up from there! I got rid of my crutches just after Easter and now I am only using my moon boot when I walk outside. In my apartment I don’t need it. I started Physio which is helping so much and I have almost normal movement in it again.

One of the biggest things I was scared of was gaining weight, I was absolute terrified of it. In the past, I would have just gone back to terrible eating and no exercise at all but this time I forced myself to hobble straight back into the gym. Obviously the exercises have had to change a bit, no legs, only arms and back and no cardio. To begin with Henry and to carry everything for me and set me up at each machine and I had to modify anything that required me to stand up. The moon boot meant me being able to carry my own stuff and stand up properly and then last week- I started cycling on the bike again. I am looking forward to the day when I can deadlift and squat again and it annoys me that I will have to start all over again with being the weights back up. But at the end of the day, I know I am lucky. I get to actually be able to do those things again and I know there are people that never will. Damn, I broke my promise to not get philosophical!

So theres my story, that’s how I felt and what happened to my brain when my normal life was interrupted. I am not one hundred percent proud of my actions but there really wasn’t anything I could do to stop it. I was lucky to be able to recognise that I was depressed and knew it was just because of my ankle and even though there was the old dark cloud fogging everything, I knew I just had to push through and it would get better. Depression is a bitch and it can really make you feel pretty hopeless and please, please if you are in the black fog and don’t feel you have a way out- know I am always here and there really is a way out.

 

 

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Walking around on broken legs

limosene 

I’m having one of those ‘fuck everything’ nights, one of those nights where I’m just fed up! These nights used to happen quite regularly but it’s definitely on the deacrease. When it does happen though it just consumes me and nothing can shift my mood. 

It’s hard to articulate exactly what is wrong with me. I think it’s that I’m sick of being alone. I’m not lonely in anyway, I have an amazing circle of friends, I live with my closest friends and my amazing sister who I spend an incredible amount of time with. As well as my gorgeous puppy to keep me company. But I am definitely alone, I’m just me and I’ve never really been just me and I’m feeling fed up. 

I want to come home from work and have my best friend pull me into his arms, give me a kiss and ask me how my day was. I want to cook dinner with him and sit down to watch TV cuddled up on the couch and then I want to get into our warm bed and hold each other in our sleep. Incredibly sappy I know but hey, at this point I do not care. 

I had all of these things but then I lost them and most of the time I can cope with that but some times it sneaks back up on me and it kills me on the inside. Six years of being with the one person and being incredibly in love and very happy for a large majority will do that to you. 

I know I will find that again, until just recently I actually thought maybe I had but I doesn’t seem to have worked out that way and that’s ok. It will. 

Some of my fondest memories of our time together are- 

 while we were living in London he used to work later than me so I was always home before him. When he would come home the first thing he would do would be to go to the bathroom and shower to get all the grease off himself and to warm up. I would go and sit in the bathroom with him and talk to him about our days. Sometimes we would have a cider while talking. 

And another one is- 

Every morning when he was working in town we would get ready together and have breakfast together. We would then go and ‘clean our pegs’ which was cleaning our teeth and then we would drive to work in different cars but the same way for most of the drive. When it came time to go to our separate work places, we would wave like dorks to each other. 

We had lots of things like this that were just out things and we spent every second we could together. We were best friends and even if we had seen each other for the past few hours we would always have something to talk about. We had a lot in common and we were just always Cait and Lawrie. It’s taken me a long time to understand who I am without him as just Cait. 

I know I will have that again. I truly believe we can have more than one soul mate and have that kind of relationship with more than one person. It will never be exactly the same but I’m glad of that. Those memories will always be mine and his and I’m looking forward to making cute, new memories with the next boy I fall madly in love with. 

limosene 

Maybe then I could sleep at night.. 

To be completely honest, I’m absolutely terrified of going to sleep. Every night when it’s bed time, I start to get anxious and start to freak out. I procrastinate, I do everything I can to not have to go to sleep. I take a really long hot shower, I read, I watch an episode or two. Eventually though, I know it has to happen. If it doesn’t then I get overtired and I don’t function well when I’m over tired. 

I’ve wondered why I feel this, I think it stems from when I was a kid and my parents let me stay up late because they were night owls. I remember as a child being baby sat by my grandma while my mum worked a late shift and knowing that if I could just stay awake until mum came to get my baby sister I would get to home with her, even though I loved staying at grandmas. The main reason though would be because at night, when I try to sleep is when the thoughts come in. I remember dumb things that I said and did years and years ago. I think about all of the bills I have to pay and worry where I’m going to get the money. I remember what it felt like to sleep next to someone who I loved dearly. Sometimes I don’t even worry or I don’t even feel sad but I just think. It’s the anxiety about the anxiety that I might feel if I can’t sleep and knowing that in the morning I’ll struggle to get out of bed and feel crappy.

I’ve tried everything over the years, sleeping techniques, sleeping pills, an app on my phone, guided meditation. Some of it has worked for a time but it always come back. I know I’m not the only one though, my sister for one is just as bad and lots of songs I listen to reference insomnia. One example of this is, Brand New in their song Noro-

Why doesn’t anyone I know sleep?    Are they all just scared of their dreams?                                              When they lay their heads down at night,                                                     What are they haunted by?

And the one I will leave you with is; City and Colour, the Death of me- 

Maybe then I could sleep at night                    I wouldn’t lie awake until the morning light.                                                                 This is something that I’ll never control my nerves will be the death of me I know, I know  

Goodnight! 

Maybe then I could sleep at night.. 

Every picture you paint, I’ll paint myself out 

I guess I do want you to be happy eventually but I don’t want it to be just yet..
I want you to feel that longing for me that I feel for you. When you lie next to your new girl I want you to feel that absence, I want you to feel that it’s not right but never quiet be able to put your finger on it. And then it will dawn on you. It doesn’t feel right because she’s not me. That’s how I feel. That’s how I’ve felt the entire time we’ve been apart. It’s not quite right. And I truly don’t believe there’s no way you won’t eventually feel like that too… 

Every picture you paint, I’ll paint myself out 

Lonely as I am, together we cry

Loneliness was never something I had to deal with that often until the break up. Although to be completely honest, I guess I felt pretty lonely at the end of the relationship as well because my partner as I had known him was no longer there. He was there physically but the sweet, loving, fun guy I had fallen in love with had been replaced with a cranky, grumpy stranger who had no time for me in amongst the stress of house renovations. My ex used to go out of town for work for about four days at a time every couple of weeks, so during those times I would be without him. I struggled a lot with those few days and normally would head over to visit my mum or just be out of the house as much as possible during those times. So then I was single and the gaping hole of loneliness struck.

I was very determined to conquer this though, I wanted to learn to be ok with being by myself, I wanted to enjoy alone time. I had always envied those people who said they enjoy just spending some time to themselves and just doing what they wanted to do. Also, the last thing I wanted was to dive straight in to another relationship, just to fill the void. In the past I had tried, I would go in with a positive mind set- I was going to really enjoy my alone time and I would, for about an hour. After that I would get bored, and not know how to fill my time, I would start to think of stupid things, and then the anxiety would set in and I would end up feeling sad and lonely. Missing my partner partner would start then, even if he had just left an hour or so ago and was coming back in an hour or so. Alone time just wasn’t fun because it really wasn’t something I had to do, being alone was only very temporary so I didn’t make an effort to make the most of it.

When you are single however, being alone is inevitable, your time filler, that person who was always around suddenly isn’t there anymore. The loneliness takes on another level as well. You’ve lost the person who meant the most to you and in my case, your best friend and soul mate. We did absolutely everything together and I liked being around him so much that I would never read or play on my computer when he was around because I just wanted to be with him.

How did I combat this? Its been really tough and I still struggle with it, like tonight, my sister went to her boyfriends and all my other housemates went to bed and I realised I was very alone. It is times like that, when I head to bed by myself, that I really wish I had someone but I am much better with it. One thing I have really enjoyed since being single is reading. I have always been an avid reader but it felt like I was neglecting my partner because I get much too engrossed in books. When Twilight came out, I had to force myself to take breaks from reading because I felt like I hadn’t seen my partner in days. So since being single, I can read and read and not feel guilty at all! I have been able to read some amazing books and the speed I can get through them is fantastic. I was never really a series watching person but I have now signed up for Netflix and get into a good series. I also really enjoy a weekend night every now and then at home on my couch, watching a movie.

Friends and Family are awesome for this type of thing as well. My sister has been my rock and I am so incredibly thankful of how close we have become. We were always great friends but there was a bit of tension with her and my ex towards the end and it was hard to be in the middle. Now we are closer than ever and I spend more time with her than anyone else. I’ve also made some amazing friends and formed even closer bonds with other friends, each of them I can always count on to distract me from the sadness of being lonely.

Loneliness isn’t fun and sometimes it seems to consume you, making you feel completely empty but its how you look at loneliness that is key. Instead of letting it get you down, use it as an opportunity to do something you don’t get to do often. Read the new best seller, call an old friend, watch a show that people would normally tease you for watching. Loneliness isn’t forever, I know one day I will be married and have a family and then I will look back on this time when I did so many things for myself and miss it.

Lonely as I am, together we cry

Another week away, my greatest fear

I have had an interesting few days, I have been through the worst anxiety I have had in along time but I have also done amazing things and had a lot of fun.

Basically the anxiety stems from the my ex being pretty awful to me. When I left we were friends and used to talk all the time and tag each other in things and essentially just do what normal friends do. He had been ignoring my messages though, which made me really mad because its incredibly rude, so I asked him what was going on. He said I was messaging him too much and he was ‘copping a lot of flack’ for it. He also told me he was seeing someone and it was hard to justify why he was talking to me all the time. Just to be clear, I am not one of those crazy ex girlfriends that messages constantly and pines for him. Fair enough, I get a little bit sad and sent him a message telling him I was missing him, but that was because I was very sick and been driving all day and its my first big road trip without him. I’m honestly not that sad about him seeing someone, although I do get scared that I won’t find anyone, but I am mainly upset about how he treated me. All he had to do was nicely say to me ‘I have been seeing someone’ and I would have backed off. I understand that he is going to move on but the way he went about it made me feel so stupid and embarrassed and like I mean absolutely nothing to him. It’s silly but I just feel a little worthless at the moment, and lonely. Not having a significant other is not something that I am used to even though it has been a year and a half since we broke up. I guess its all a grieving process, I am sad that I have lost him, I am sad he has changed and I am so sad that this all happened in the first place. I just have to keep thinking that everything happens for a reason and things will get better.

Unfortunately, my brain just gives up on positivity sometimes and I fall apart a little and that is what happened after the conversation with my ex. I could barely talk and just wanted to stay in bed. I had several breakdowns to my travel partner who was so amazing and looked after me so well. Yesterday, she was very worried about me but I slept a fair bit yesterday and felt a lot better.

Today is my birthday so last night (after I slept off my anxiety) we went to Light Nightclub. Last time I was here, I went to Light and it was one of the best nights out I have ever had. That is also where I hooked up with the American boy who I eventually fell for. Light is incredible, it has Cirque Du Soleil performers that perform throughout the night and Alesso was playing so the music was amazing! We both had such a fun night and I had bought myself a really nice fancy dress to wear. It was a cute wiggle dress from a pin up store and while it was clingier than I would normally wear, I felt really sexy in it. Light was an amazing way to see in my birthday.

One error we did make was booking the Bellagio from the 24th to the 26th meaning we had to get up, pack our bags up and walk over from Flamingo with our terrible hang overs. The walk was rough with our huge bags and the random crap we have accumulated and then when we got to the Bellagio the check in line was huge and we both had to concentrate on not vomitting. Once we got to the room we had a nice nap and enjoyed our amazing view of the Bellagio fountains and the rest of the strip.

After chilling out all day in the room, we ordered room service and then got ready to head to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. Fremont is the slightly seedier, crazier part of Las Vegas but that makes it the much better part. We were greeted with an eighties spandex band who were incredible, playing Guns and Roses and Kiss songs. From there we walked down Fremont street, taking in the crazy buskers (one of which was just a guy in underwear bopping to music) and went to a cool bar called The Griffin. A friend of mine described The Griffin as looking like Hogwarts and thats exactly what it was like, very English pub which low lighting and a fireplace.

Other than the amazing day 24 hours of my birthday, the other thing we did in Vegas was the Grand Canyon but we did it by helicopter instead of the 10 hour, round trip bus ride. The helicopter option is much more expensive but we decided to fork out. I have actually done this trip before when I was here last time but I was perfectly happy to go again. This time the tour included a limousine transfer to and from the airport and it was in the Limo that the most incredible thing happened. When the Limo picked us up, the driver apologised for being late and said that he had to wait for ‘The Jenners’ who were in the car. We just thought he was making a joke and so we jumped in. Then we realised, he was not joking, there in the seats were Brody Jenner and his mum Linda, his girlfriend Caitlin and her friend. They were so incredibly nice and introduced themselves to us straight away and asked where we were from. Linda said it was her birthday on the 23rd and that Brody had gotten the tour for her as a present, I told her my birthday was 24th. They went in a separate helicopter but when we actually landed in the canyon, when Linda saw us she said “Hey Brisbane” and they asked how the flight had gone. On the way back, another couple squeezed into the Limo (I think purely for the fact that Brody was in there) and during the drive they asked if they could get a photo. Straight away Brody’s demeanour changed and you could tell it was not something he was comfortable with and fair enough. It would be bizarre having people taking pictures of you when you are just trying to celebrate your mum’s birthday.

Now we are into our last day in vegas and there has been a bit of a change of plans. I have realised I do not have enough money to get through the next three weeks and so I am heading home on my original flight next week. Its actually really annoying because I was homesick and talked about heading home but now that I have no choice but to head home then, I am really disappointed and annoyed at myself for not looking after money better, nothing I can do now though. My poor travel buddy has now had to change her flight for the THIRD time because of me and it has been a bit of a stressful day. The only upside is- NEW YORK TOMORROW!!!!

Another week away, my greatest fear