As I’ve mentioned before, throughout my DNRS journey, I had quite a few moments when I just knew things were going to change.
There were big and small moments.
Watching the DNRS DVDs and starting to hope that I could recover, going into a shop to buy a carton of milk for the first time since becoming housebound, going out without my mask, being a bridesmaid at Corinne’s wedding and getting to be there from start to finish, going abroad, going back to the office, crossing the finish line of a race and many others…
But the most memorable moment remains quite a simple moment but one in which I just knew that although I still had a LONG way to go, I was on my way to recovering.
So in this moment I was driving home from the first fitting for our bridesmaids’ dresses and I remember feeling really free and empowered.
I guess it was because it was the first time I had left home in months apart from for a walk in the countryside.
It must have been pure luck or fate or I’m not sure what, but just as I was feeling that way, “Shots” by Imagine Dragons came on the radio.
I loved hearing the song then but it also means so much to me now as it gives me back that feeling of empowerment and freedom.
And the feeling that I CAN DO THIS! I can go to bridesmaid dress fittings. I can be at CORINNE's WEDDING! I can live a normal life again.
It was so different from the feeling I had when we went for a walk just before I had started DNRS and I told Corinne that maybe she should consider not having me as her bridesmaid in case I wouldn't be well enough to be there or in case I had a reaction halfway through.
Till today, if I’m feeling a bit down, playing this song can really lift my spirits and make me feel the way I did that first time as I was driving home.
The lyrics are also really meaningful as it’s all about forgiveness and starting over – including things like "oh I'm wishing I had what I'd taken for granted" and "in the meantime can we let it go at the roadside that we used to know. We can let this drift away - oh we let this drift away" "And there's always time to change your mind. Oh there's always time to change your mind… oh let it drift away!"
Early on in my recovery, trusting the DNRS process and believing I could recover wasn’t easy.
But there were 10 things which I believe really made things easier for me and which can help anyone overcome most obstacles that life might present:
1. Surround yourself by positive people.
2. If possible, speak to people who have overcome something similar.
3. Focus on the positive instead of the negative.
4. Have a very good support system.
5. Know why you are trying to overcome this obstacle. What will things look like for you once you’ve overcome it? Have a clear picture in your head of what things will look like on “the other side”.
6. Celebrate all your achievements, big and small.
7. Know that progress is often not going to be linear and don’t let the ups and downs alarm you.
8. Don’t ever give up. Remind yourself that often we achieve things when we press on just as we’re about to give up. I came across this quote recently and I think it sums this up so well: “The urge to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.” – John Assaraf
9. Don’t compare yourself to others.
10. And finally, don't forget to SMILE. A smile can really make all the difference.