Maybe a step backwards is a chance to review where we are and discover a different way forward? A little like learning from a mistake. I like to think of it this way as my car seems to get stuck in reverse more than it does first gear at the moment.

have spent the last year mentally punishing myself for losing my footing in life due to illness. Up until the accident I knew what I wanted to achieve in life and had the physical and mental ability ability to stay on the path I believed I was supposed to walk.

Knowing my responsibilities keeps me afloat at times

Now I’m in a rut of constantly lowering the bar in life with what I want to achieve. The bigger goals in life have rapidly slid out of the window and instead the goals I work towards now are more like going to the shop, remembering what I went for and making back without a physical flare up. Or making it through the day without having a sleep. These are achievable, but not always.

The better days of manageable batterings are hampered by the reality that any moment, for any number of reasons my central nervous system will start firing off signals to my brain which doesn’t hesitate to respond with pain.

Flare ups do not happen regularly. But when they do I cannot describe the physical and mental torture I have to endure. They are exhausting, draining and unbeatable. I have to learn to live with them. Central pain syndrome is like having an unwanted companion that is ready to knock you out with a shovel when it thinks you need it.

I keep as busy as I can to stop seizing up

Needless to say I have found myself going backwards occasionally. After years without deppresion I find myself getting overwhelmed with negativity, struggling to stay conscious of what is going on around me. It’s In these moments I get fed the horrible thoughts, the self pity comes down like a hammer and among the electric shocks and brain fog I run out of mental steam. I simply can’t cope. I have sat in tears on more than one occasion, beaten down by pain I cannot control or stop. I’m not ashamed to admit it, there are moments it’s almost broken me.

The biggest problem is that I begin to resent. And when I do my pain levels increase. Stress is a big factor in flaring up my condition. So I have had to stop fighting myself to pick myself up and push on. I’ve had to accept new limitations around work and physical activity. And be okay with them. I’ve had to ask for help at home which I find difficult. Because I feel like I’m failing my wife in doing so. We have both had to accept a new situation. It’s not been easy for either of us. We have to be okay with me being less.

So I’ve accepted that there will be steps backwards occasionally, and that I am going to get overwhelmed in the times my condition gets out of control.

I need to remember that the path I was walking is no longer there, that much of what I wanted is now beyond reach. So to step backwards has opened my eyes for the need to find another route forward. One I can manage with out resenting and bring a bit of peace back to my mind. Life has changed, and among the other forced changes I need to mentally adapt, because the shovel is coming whether I like it or not.