Convalescence and rehabilitation

Though it’s still chilly the pubs have reopened, sort of. I’ve missed the opportunity to break a ride with a pint and a bag of crisps, the chance of finding a sticky carpet and indifferent landlord (never was an expensive date ;).

Isn’t it incredible to imagine how this country was circa 1918 or 1945. A million lives were lost in The Great war and the second wrought devastation upon populations. The horror and grief of 1918 was also compounded by Spanish Flu killing more than a quarter of a million in the UK and 500 million globally!

From having broken a few bones etc. and worked in healthcare, I’ve come to appreciate rehabilitation. It’s not glamorous or exciting, not the stuff of ER or Scrubs, but rather slow and endlessly challenging, often tricky one step forward two steps back kind of work. Nevertheless, facilitating positive change in your life or someone else’s is a magical thing to do.

I remember helping to nurse a young woman through an acute psychotic episode. She’d regressed to an angry, animalistic state, able to shout but not speak, ripping off her clothes, smearing shit on her room’s walls. A few months later I didn’t recognise her when she asked me for directions in the hospital corridor. Her makeup and summer dress were an obvious sign of recovery, but more importantly she was able to interact again. Surviving traumatic times can not only be life changing and deliver unimagined opportunities, it can also foster relationships and community.

It’s an ill wind that blows no good, and though Debenhams has gone, whatever comes next can only serve better coffee. Now most in the UK are vaccinated, maintaining a social distance, packing face masks and sanitiser, let’s find a vision for the future and crack on with rebuilding and transforming.
My grandmother didn’t mind the coffee at Debenham’s, though she was also fond of saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Though that’s not necessarily true, making it through tough times can bring surprising benefits.


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