I’m not gonna lie to myself, my head is a pretty dark place right now. Then again this was not unforeseen, I knew that my time on my current placement would be my biggest mental challenge I’ve faced for a while.

I’ve been in a coma, what can beat that right?

If only!

It’s getting to the point now where so many people are briefly coming into my life and doing a runner when they see what things are really like and the drama that my brain-injured-aura seems to (unwontedly) attract, that it is starting to hurt a bit.

I suppose I can’t blame them, it is a lot to get your head round, people just want an easy life.

A recent telephone conversation with a tutor from my uni:

‘Let’s be honest with each other. Please say it how it is. Do you really think I can do this now?’ I’d asked. 

‘Mikey, I know you’re in a lot of pain. It’s been such a long time you’ve been trying to do this. But only YOU know the answer’. 

My symptoms make the world a scary place. My experiences has also lead to it being a lonely place.

The exhaustion is relentless, the headaches are piercing, the memory loss and lack of concentration is maddening, the panic and self doubt, long with the obsessions over my insecurities make me sad, the memories of everything bring pain and the nightmares and terrors are horrifying and yet still as common as ever. It’s like living in hell at the moment.

I remember before I’d had my injury, people always liked me wherever I went.

It doesn’t last long now. Or to be more accurate, people don’t last long. I thought I didn’t care, but when you have so few people in your life after all these years, it starts to make you question your motives.

osho suffer

I sometimes wonder if one day I’ll find someone who actually likes the real me, not just the one with the tattoos and humour that you see at first glance who smells nice (CK one, £20).

I’m sure I will, I know there must be something I’m not quite doing right. I’m not exactly a social butterfly (more like a social mosquito).  But remember, I’m still learning to do everything all over again after my accident, so I might get it wrong on occasions.

Brain injury is such a hard condition to comprehend, most doctor’s don’t understand the complex and vague (yet torturous and very real) torment that comes from surviving one.

I realised something recently, which was that when people see me they often see this:

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Or this:

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Which must be misleading, because I have also had this:

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And when people take a second glance at me, I think they see bits of that last picture.

Life is busy and full of challenges, we all struggle and we all have that in common, that’s why I think I understand the repelling quality which I seem to have on people!

Since my accident, I’ve pursued my nursing with tunnel vision for many reasons, but two important ones are:

1. I love kids, and they never see my brain injury, so I feel normal around them and enjoy making them laugh by being inappropriate in ways other people might not be. 

2. Since my accident I don’t have much to lose. Before you think of suggesting my daughter and family, lock yourself in a room, close your eyes and meditate over it for 100 hours. It’s not an answer that can be explained, only felt. 

Life is full of ups and downs, I think it’s how we deal with the downs which will define our levels of contentment in this crazy ride we call life. So I guess I’ll try my best to make the best of the ‘downs’, whilst not letting it get me ‘down’ (see what I did there?). After all, I’ve been here before. Many times. The pain is getting worse as each year passes, but I won’t give up yet.

Storm

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Not bothered.

The brain injury fairy is trying their very best to push me over the edge at the moment. Last week, after I had finished an entire day at work, I couldn’t find my keys. I had forgotten were I put them and they were gone! Not bothered.

Those who know me know that this is an everyday thing for me. My wallet, keys, phone, vape and countless other important objects I need everyday are constantly being misplaced and lost.

Due to my brain injury symptoms, I am unable to work whilst being a student, something most students need to do to survive the three years of training. However, I’ve been doing this for 6 years and I am unable to work due to my symptoms, and now my PIP benefit has been refused! Not bothered. 

I’m not the brink of financial disaster

Soon my capital will run out and I won’t be able to afford to continue my studies with no money coming in. My court case is next year, and this will determine whether I am able to live independently for the rest of my life. If I am unsuccessful in the claim,  I am well and truly financially screwed for life. Not bothered.

There are no two ways about that.

I’ve been showering in the dark for the past week as the bulb that blew out in my bathroom was a fluorescent weirdly shaped coil, it looked like something out the operating rooms in area 51 they use to disect aliens or something.

A few weeks back, whilst driving on the motorway, something fell off the back of somebody’s car and flew right into my windscreen cracking it. Wasn’t bothered. 

Last year, a similar misfortune occurred when someone drove into the side of my car! These two happy events mean that my insurance has gone up from £300 a year to £900. Plus the excess cost, it all adds up when you haven’t earned money in 6 years.  Not bothered. 

Ouch

Work is increasingly dubious, I won’t even bother to write about it. It’s difficult having to hide my symptoms and my true story from people, but necessary, otherwise I’ll really have no chance of ever becoming a nurse. We’ll see what happens with that. Not bothered.

It is what it is

Ysterday the latch on the front door to my flat broke so me, mum and Reese were trapped inside! My landlord declined my calls and eventually turned his phone off. In the end I threw my keys out the window to a neighbour and thankfully she was able to let us back out. Not bothered. 

My concentration defecits at work are a big challenge

.. as are all my other symptoms. Depression and anxiety are always close by at the moment, so I need to keep on top of them. Not bothered. 

The secret to happiness is letting go

None of these events changes anything. We all go through peaks and troughs in life, so it’s best not to let the peaks or the troughs affect your true self. Here’s a demonstration of this:

Mikey you’re the best nurse ever represent our uni for us we’ll pay for you to go! 

Not bothered

Mikey staff have raised concerns about you perhaps nursing is too technical for you

Not bothered

 

 

 

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Whatever happens will happen, but whatever does happen won’t affect my mood or my inner being, one way or the other. Too much seems to happen to me for me to be bothered about anything. It’s all external, it doesn’t have to affect ME.

Time to do what’s right

At the beginning we all thought it would better for me to divulge my health condition to those I work with and be open about the challenges I face.

However, my experiences over the past 3 years; both inside the work arena and out, have shown me that when humans (many of them good humans, but not all) are exposed to your weaknesses, they use them against you and stop at nothing to see you fail.

It was at the end of my second year I realised the only negative comments staff ever gave to me was about my brain injury, even though none of the staff I worked with had come across it before or knew the symptoms.

Next year I will finally (hopefully) know whether I can survive financially for the rest of my life, after 5 long years of ugliness and fighting.

If I lose, I will be in financial turmoil for the rest of my life. The government have also recently decided to take my PIP away, the money that has kept me only just afloat over the years.

My health condition has not only mounted up enemies from all corners of the globe, but it has left me in a myriad of pitiful debt crises.

My divorce is now in it’s final stages, and it should hopefully be finalised by the time Reese starts school in September.

In two weeks time I will be starting work in neonatal intensive care. This will take me up until the new year where I will have one more shot at completing my final placement, which consists of 28 weeks as opposed to the usual 14.

Mikey, you have gotten this far on HALF the number of hours as everyone else.

Staff don’t like special considerations.

How can he be a nurse if he doesn’t even want to work our shifts?

My presence will be even more unprecedented when I arrive.

My exhaustion is as bad as ever

.. it’s gotten worse over time. If I make it to the new year for my final assessed placement, I would have been absent from a hospital ward for nearly a year.

The odds aren’t looking so good now

I have removed myself from facebook and un-followed my uni friends off of Instagram.

I hope they understand this is something I have to do, I need to do the rest of this journey alone. I’m just not strong enough to see them all qualify without me, this will be the third and hardest time, but I really do wish them well.

Whats your email address Mikey? Mw7e11? Wow you’ve been trying this for ages

I’m just ‘a student’ right?

We need to send you somewhere where they don’t know you

I exposed this issue with proof to my university in placement 5,  by telling no one about myself and having a glowing report. For the first time in three years: no mention of my brain injury, except from one staff member who knew.

Now, nobody can know the truth about me. Imagine that. Good things come from not telling people about your true self. Lonely isn’t the word.

I’m not complaining, but by telling people the truth about me I haven’t had a fair shake from the start.

It’s no one’s fault

It’s human nature to look for a problem if it might be there. I have no anger or bad feeling towards anyone, in fact I understand it. Please be grown up enough about this to understand where I’m coming from.

But now it’s different

No one will know about me. We will see at the end of this placement whether my claims have been true, or whether I have been making excuses. You can’t doubt the truth, only if you’re too scared to seek it.

The odds are weighed heavily against my chances of becoming a nurse more than ever now

By being courageous enough to set yourself free from an unfree society whilst adopting a compassionate and loving approach to all the challenges life throws at you, anything is possible. Even happiness.

All you need is to be yourself. With compassion being your drive in life, you’ll always be happy. It’s time to do what’s right, even if it is against the odds. Stay out of my way, because I’m coming for what they say I couldn’t have.
 

Time for a break 

Maybe it was the big meeting I had at uni today which has been the catalyst for neurological exhaustion and an innate sadness of biblical proportions, but I feel like I’ll keel over any minute from a toxic mixture of the two. So not a real blog today, just some words. 

I’ll be taking some time out from the one thing in life I love and live for, and hopefully be qualifying in December 2018. 

Life is full of pain and challenges, but if we let these challenges get the better of us, they will inevitably end up defining us as humans. 

But I can’t be defined. I have enough friends to count on one hand and still have some change from. 

Unfortunately, because of my ability to be myself truly, I seem to expose the darkest forms of behaviour that dwell deep within the human psych, which is usually what people try to hide from the world at all costs. 

My nursing has never felt so far away. 

Judge me if you like, I enjoy it now. Deception and lies are something I face daily, often in its worst forms. 

The saddest thing about betrayal is it never comes from your enemies. 

People like the sound of me at first, but when all is said and done, none of them have what it takes to be in my life, hence the change left over I mentioned earlier. Apart from my parents obviously. 

I want to go to bed now and just go to sleep forever! I’m exhausted and hurt. But at the end of the day, all you fakers out there will never stop me being who I am. I’m unhinged AF and this is just all part of the fun for me. 

Time for a break. 


Ps. Someday the world will know what you did to me, I’ll make sure of it 🙂 

I’m just not ready.

Once you sustain a head injury, your life will change in ways that you couldn’t comprehend until you experience it.

In life it is important to be socially acceptable. Your dress sense, the words you speak and the manner in which you conduct yourself need to be in keeping with the social norms at that given time.

In the 60s, it was platform shoes. If you wore them now though, your friends would laugh at you. And rightly so. Apart from my mate Ashley, who’s a ginger and someone I’d love to see impersonate ginger spice in a lovely pair of union jack platformers, It wouldnt be acceptable. She was the only one I didn’t fancy tbf. #nogingist.

Every single day people discriminate against me in some manner, but because 90% of the time they don’t even know they’re doing it, it makes it a trickier situation to deal with.

I laugh it off, that’s my strategy.

From friends to work colleagues and to anyone with whom you come into contact with: it’s just human nature to be liked and accepted.

I was sat in a university lecture a few months back, whereby the lecturer was explaining the nurse re-validation process, and that nurses should keep hold of any thank-you cards or presents that we receive from patients and their families to help us ‘revalidate’ (a posh way of renewing the nurse licence).

I put my hand up and voiced my opinion, which was that we should not be using thank you cards as something to judge a nurses’ performance.

I also stated that keeping hold of things like that it suggests it is not the norm, but something special which rarely happens, when really it should be part and parcel of doing a good job as a nurse (which it is). I was humble and honest, I offered up my own take on it.

Of course, she didn’t like it. I don’t blame her really, it must feel rubbish when a student nurse has the front to disagree with you, albeit professionally, in front of 500 people.

I made light of my comments by saying (truthfully):

‘I really wouldn’t be any good at keeping cards and things anyway. I’ve never uploaded them onto my practice profile document, my memory is terrible’.

To which, the lead nurse for an adult department at a hospital replied in front of 500 students:

‘Well I can’t do anything for your rubbish memory then can I?’

A few sniggers and snorts followed her compassionate (NHS England 2012) comment, but I let it go, thanking her for the opportunity to enhance my skills in maturity and consequently grow as a person.

Whether unconcious or not: to the people that are different from what you feel to be socially acceptable, it can be hard for them to learn from your dispassionate and insensitively depricating comments just how different they are to you. Not me though, I’ve grown thicker skin.

You never know what’s going on in people’s lives

My last blog I said I can feel my nursing is something that won’t happen this time around. I want to make one thing abundantly clear:

When I die, I will quit. If I am forced off my course this time round, I will happily start it all over again from the beginning.

I must be insane to think i can be a nurse. I am constantly exhausted.

I don’t do it for the thank you cards or for any sort of recognition. 

I do it because I like seeing children laughing and in absolute hysterics within 12 seconds of our encounter, despite losing all their hair from their gruelling chemotherapy treatment. I do it for the spark of magic that comes from the connection we make with children under very trying and heartbreaking circumstances. I do it to eradicate fear, pain and suffering, even if only for a few seconds. I do it (quote):

To make children laugh when they’ve been barely able to raise a smile.

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These comments were from placement 5. This makes it even harder for me to accept that I’m just not ready for placement 6. But it’s true and I accept this graciously, I’m just not ready.

Not yet.

 

 

 

Free as a bird

The last couple of weeks have certainly played host to some very profound circumstances for me, hence why I haven’t written a blog lately. I’ve come off facebook for a bit, so I’m assuming this blog probably won’t be read by anyone.

This makes no difference to me. I write for my therapy, not to please anyone else.

For example, the poem I wrote in my last blog was viewed by 2 people, as opposed to the usual 70-100. And I know exactly who probably read it lol.

You guys will be reading this too, sat there in your expensive suits, probably pondering on where to dine for lunch. Maybe the earl grey you’re sipping isn’t quite zesty enough for your liking.

You guys are part of a very long list of people who want to see me fail and wronged, mainly by way of manipulation and libel, because you certainly can’t win with the truth. Get in line fellas, you’ll get your chance, I know we’ll be coming face to face soon, I got the email. But listen guys, real talk, just as all those who have gone against me in my life, know that I feel no anger towards you whatsoever.

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I decided to leave my final nursing placement last week and the new plan will be for me to make up my hours and then start placement 6 in January. When everyone I work with has qualified I will yet to have started my final placement.

I’m just not ready for placement 6 yet.

The truth doesn’t need any comment, It simply is. The minute you try to talk about the truth you tell a lie, it becomes corrupted. For example, try explaining how light looks to a blind man, it’s impossible. Or try explaining what sweet taste is like to someone who can’t experience sensation. You’d end up talking so much looking for the right words that you’d end up giving a completely different explanation to what is the truth.

Every where I have turned these past 5 years..

…someone, or a group of people have tried to ruin everything for me. Either by lies or manipulation, they have always been there. Half my life people don’t believe the real truth, that’s part and parcel of living with a brain injury.

I’m starting to see that people like me aren’t really meant to be nurses, I won’t be around for long I’m afraid!

It’s time to enjoy the ride while it lasts now.  I’m free spirited and independent from ‘society’s norms’, but this only seems to put me in more trouble (often never for a tangible reason)time and time again.

But I’ll carry on being free as a bird and living independently from the world. Even when I did play the game, people were still out to get me. So why not just do my own thing?! I’m screwed anyway by that logic. Why not enjoy it?

My wife hated the ‘new’ Mikey, the new clown Mikey, he wasn’t as slick as the old 007 agent Mikey.

osho spirituality

Betrayal has taken many forms in my life, it’s probably running out of ideas on how to manifest itself for next time! But I forgive every single person who has in some way betrayed, lied or wronged me over the years. I feel genuine love for the suffering these individuals must have. No hard feelings. Life is tough for everyone and we’re all going on our own unique journey.

In all honesty, with 100% heartfelt truth: for the first time in 5 years I’m not sure whether I can do this now. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it won’t happen this time round. This is a difficult concept for me to grasp, especially so late in the day. Like I said, it’s time to enjoy the ride while it lasts and do my best to be a good nurse until that time comes.

I know I’m a good nurse, but when I lose that I can still try my best to be a good person. And when I do have to give it up? I’ll give it a few years and start all over again. Because although peaceful and compassionate, I’m also stubborn AF.

 

 

 

Freedom

I took this post down yesterday as it drew comments from other people on Facebook, and I suddenly realised how much I don’t like that. These blogs are for me and until I can work out how to stop them showing up on Facebook I’ll delete them from Facebook and not from the site. 

It’s nothing personal. This is just a by-product of circumstances which I continue to learn from in life.

Before the meeting that changed a lot for me three days ago: 

Sitting here once again waiting and thinking ‘boy here we go again’,
My whole life has been a drama and it seems to have no end. 
I’m Pondering life and how alone and isolated I am,

But there comes a time where its only business and the emotion has to end.
Moving slowly but purposefully with intelligence and a desire to never fail,

When my backs against the wall I know in my heart I’ll do anything to ensure I prevail.
Even if the truth were known it would be utterly misunderstood and futile,

But before judgement or constructing an opinion climb into my shoes and try walking a mile. 
I will never understand why humans are so nasty and deceitful to one another,

Then again never say never as perhaps there IS a reason for this I am yet to discover. 
It’s easy to respect a professional in a suit but it’s not the same for a clown,

Because making children laugh by acting as such has only brought jealousy and frowns. 
My back is against the wall and I’m now asking if there’s any point to go on, 

Because doing everything to prevail and show strength has only led to things ever going wrong. 

Whatever I decide to do I know I’ll always be free. You can only truly love someone or something if it/they give you absolute freedom.