Always looking on the bright side of life

When I tell my story to people, I often say that nearly being run over by a bus does give you a certain perspective on life. By which I mean it makes you appreciate how fragile is our hold on life and how quickly it could be taken away.

I was reminded of this earlier today when a friend posted on social media a picture of an incident which happened to them exactly six years ago today (November 16). In their words: 'my car shut down (a town) for an hour after a huge lump of metal the size of a fridge fell off a lorry and wrote my car off. It took four people to drag the metal off the road. The police told me that had I been two seconds earlier, I'd be dead."

Well, I guess you could say the same about me, of course. And I do think those of us who have been through such experiences, or are battling illnesses or disabilities of varying degrees, become attuned to taking a positive approach to life because we know how precious it is.

But my, being positive doesn't half take it out of you at times. I've had a couple of moments this week when I've reflected (like a good counselling-skills student should, lol....) on how long I can keep holding all the pieces together; how long I can keep juggling all the balls in the air; how long I can keep up that "well, I'm bloody lucky to be here at all" attitude.

Being around positive and inspirational people helps, of course; people who can lift me when I need it, give me a kick up the arse when I need it, remind me that apart from being a warrior, I'm a bloody good writer and I'm getting better by the day as a public speaker.

But when you are not around those people, gloom can descend sometimes. I use techniques such as mindfulness and meditation to keep me 'in the moment' and help me to avoid worrying about things I can't control. Yet it sometimes doesn't take much of a setback to knock me off stride for an hour or two. To acknowledge how being medically retired at 53 and looking for something useful to do with the rest of my days, given my new state, wasn't in my life plan when I woke up on the morning of December 16 2013.

But then I think about all the things which have happened to me and which I've beaten. I was born with spina bifida - but I can walk. I have hydrocephalus - but you couldn't tell. I was diagnosed in 2006 with epilepsy, but it's under control. The bus didn't get me. The stroke didn't get me. Someone doesn't want me to go yet, do they? Just like someone didn't want my friend to go.

When you look at it like that, being relentlessly positive about the fact that I'm still here and fighting does seem worth the effort.