Chapter 27 : Understanding It All

“Again, with acceptance I found release.”


I began to notice that my body felt different and it would reject certain foods and drink quite quickly. My sense of taste had changed slightly; one of the comical sides to this was that I seemed to be going off dairy which was of great amusement to family and friends as I was now part cow after all. I have always been a big fan of cheese but I didn’t have the desire or taste for it any more.

I found myself not wanting milk and started to have oat milk instead.  My body would let me know instantly if something was wrong or if I was in discomfort. I felt very in tune with every aspect of how I was feeling on a physical level, more than I ever had done before. My senses seemed heightened and quicker to react, as if I was coming to life with extra feeling.

I thought this could have been down to having gone through so much pain and torment, now my body is on hyper alert for anything that wasn’t good for it, and it was reacting dramatically or rather, with a sense of urgency. 

Everything felt exaggerated, perhaps now that I was finally well anything other than that normal feeling reminded me of not feeling good so it induced signs of alert.

Without knowing it, there was a lot I hadn’t dealt with. For the most part I maintained a sense of being in the now and I found that total acceptance was key.  The better I got physically, the more I noticed my emotions and internal struggles were starting to come forward. It seemed like they had been put aside while my focus and strength was on the immediate task at hand, which was physical as it was all I could do. Now that I was able to do practical things, the emotional pain and confusion required healing.

The situation and events hadn’t just involved me; the ripples had dispersed beyond my knowing.

Physically it may have been happening to me and I had the weight of the decisions to make, but my family and the people around me had been going through their own emotions, questions and internal angst.

It became apparent that it was the time after the operation rather than during it that would reveal the most about the relationships around me; showing who would actually care and be there when things got hard.  In one sense I felt lucky as all I had to do was simply get on and get well. 

Before the operation all I had to focus on was that I would either wake up or not. I didn’t have to contemplate anything else.  Once the decision for the valve was done it became that ‘simple’ for me. I was not on the other side, watching someone go through it, seeing their health deteriorate before my eyes and having to deal with the potential loss, so I had no way of understanding how anybody else felt.  In that sense, perhaps it was similar to the way I felt about not having anyone to empathise with about the operation itself.  At the time I didn’t have the emotional strength to see things from their side and used all the strength I had to remain positive and free from turmoil.

I realised the relationship I was in with my girlfriend wasn’t good and ultimately it wasn’t going anywhere.  I didn’t love Tiana and it seemed as though she felt trapped by the situation and couldn’t cope, or at least that’s how I interpreted her behaviour. Whether I had misread everything or not I didn’t feel the same as I once had done, and decided to speak to her about it.

Breaking up is never easy, especially after what had happened and I was still on the road to recovery, building up my strength. It felt right to break free and it became clear it was part of the process of healing and moving on.

For the following two weeks I entered into a very deep depression. I had never felt like that before; I was like a zombie; half asleep and never quite there.  I was going through the motions of my daily routine, plodding along but my feet felt stuck to the ground as if I was dragging them everywhere, tied to a heavy boulder; I felt like I was always being held back. I went out on a nearly constant thirty-six-hour binge and subsequently felt extremely ill. I had now aided my depression with twenty-four hours of vomiting and an extensive hangover which took a week to recover from. I had reverted to my old ways, dealing with things by lashing out, and it turned the cloud of depression into a thick, dark overbearing thunderstorm.  I felt hurt, tortured, heavy and twisted inside.

Going through the motions was all I could do. I would get up, eat, and walk, like a puppet I felt my body moving but it was like I wasn’t doing it myself. I was a few feet behind the movement, pulled along, observing, disconnected from the reality I was living.

Breaking up with Tiana had in part brought on the realisation of what had happened over the previous nine months; the lead up to the operation and everything else, and it all came crashing down on me.  The enormity of it all had finally hit me and it was a dark few weeks that seemed all encompassing.

I am grateful for the daily meditations and continual reflection I did on everything which then allowed that feeling of heaviness to dissipate, freeing me up to realise how good I actually felt and focus on the positive progress I had made.

Again, with acceptance I found release.


One thought on “Chapter 27 : Understanding It All

  1. Having heart surgery alone is hard enough to deal with. But to then have a relationship end…..
    My mother died 6 weeks after my heart operation and then a few months later, my job contracted ended and I was unemployed. So again, I understand where you’re coming from with the mental aspects.


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