18 Months and All Change


Be warned – this is a remedial brain dump.  This is for me, about me.  I should have written it a while ago to get it off my chest but hey………………….

So I apologise in advance if it is a wee bit introspective and selfish so wont be offended if you chose not to read on and click away now

It’s been quite a while since I wrote a blog from scratch, a blog that isn’t based on an observation of a topic trending elsewhere online, in fact I’ve not put anything out for almost a year.  I have to say I’ve missed it.

There are two or three reasons for this; firstly my confidence as a blogger took a knocking by someone who through either naivety, or perhaps simple ignorance was rather critical of the fact that I blogged and offered up observation or opinions on subjects or issues I was interested in.  Now normally I wouldn’t pay any attention or would discuss further in an attempt to win them over, however when it comes from a co-worker in an influential position it becomes somewhat tougher.  Now they never actually made a big deal of it to be fair to them, however it had me second guessing myself to the point that I lost my mojo, inspiration and inclination to write.

Secondly I was rather ill last year.  This had a massive impact on me both physically and mentally.  The strength of both capacities was for a certain time impacted drastically.  Physically I have lost approx. 25 kilos (55lbs) in body weight since then, much of it in the first few weeks which took all of my strength away. Mentally I was impacted by a massive amount of steroids that I had to take daily for the first 6 months before being weaned off of them from the start of this year, as well as the constant adjustment and fight against pain. It took its toll.

I also changed jobs so to speak at the end of last year and went from being employed to working on The FIRM full time for a few months and then setting up my own consulting business which had it’s own level of stress at a time, when I was starting to become unwell again, although I failed to recognise it at the time.

In July 2013 I had a reoccurrence (I was warned I would get them through life now) and was taken to hospital again – it could not have come at a better time.  Strange as that may sound, so much was going wrong physically that it was difficult to get through a day and then a night without pain. It was very stressful. I wasn’t a nice person to be around.  But getting into hospital again and being treated albeit, drip fed nothing but morphine, potassium, and paracetamol for 48 hours and then being put back on the steroids has been like having my factory reset button pressed.  Not only that, it has given me the power of hindsight and reflection. How to cope better, how to adjust to what is happening to me so I can better recognise when, (if) it happens again.

So looking back to over the last 18 months or so, the two things that have dominated my life and that of those around – change and food!

  • I’ve changed
  • My weight has changed
  • My size has changed
  • My way of thinking has changed
  • My moods change so much faster than I’d expect
  • I am much more disciplined now
  • I exercise much more – in fact having lost 25kg makes it easier

Oh and when it comes to food – where do I start? I have had to drastically change my diet – I am now gluten intolerant, dairy intolerant, fat intolerant and diabetic. Not all them were diagnosed at the same time either so I have had constant adjustments to make. Not only that but eating too much is a no no for me too! Who would’ve thought eh? Many of the good foods, particularly fruit and veg I cannot eat anymore, some cause me pain – why is that?  It can’t be fair not to be able to eat grapes, corn, oranges, broccoli, and cauliflower surely? Not to mention fried food!  I have yet to get an intolerance to water, so there is hope.

Those close to me know I have met many of the challenges of the last 18 months head on and enjoyed much of it. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t like being 10 inches smaller at the waist?  They also know that there have been aspects of what has happened that have not been so pleasant and have been a huge struggle; continued pain, continued weight loss, emotional extremes, fatigue, mood swings.  Each of which counters the enjoyment of the new Gary and has added extra worry, anxiety and stress for me and to others.

As with any illness either physical or mental there are no or at best, limited options or choices for much of what happens, control is taken away and your life is tilted on its axis. However it is still spinning, maybe at a different angle, at a different speed, it may even wobble but life goes on.  It’s all about managing change. We do it in our daily lives whether at work or a play, many don’t know that they are adapting or managing the change.

I am learning to change every day. I learn some aspects of it better and faster than others.  I, like you don’t have a choice in some of it, it just happens, that’s life, I can manage it and its impact perhaps, if I am strong enough and equipped to do so at the time. Alternatively I can ask for help.  Not always easy, seems to be a human condition not to ask for help. But you will be surprised from where help can come from, if only you asked.  This applies at work or at home, whether you are managing a team or a new function or in your personal life.

So it was a bit of a jumbled ramble that needed to be unloaded.  There are about 25-30 people who I owe a huge thank you too for many reasons. Genuinely. Thank You.

  1. I do worry about you Gary, as you’ve had so much to deal with in the past year. Good to see you’ve got your writing mojo back.

    Please let me know if I can help anytime.

    • Thanks Stephen – the good thing is that I now feel so much better than I did 2-3-4 months ago. the physical side of things is what it is, just have to get on with it the best way I can eh? G

  2. I never knew you’d had to endure all of this Gary. Really hope you’re feeling better – sounds like you are.

    Good luck with the consulting business. If you ever fancy a chat over a beer (assuming that’s still on the menu), feel free to give me a shout.

    • Cheers Mitch, it does feel somewhat surreal, as if I’ve been witnessing it rather than experiencing it at time. Can only but move forward.

      Alcohol is off the list too – been without since April 2012 and no future date to look forward to, however it’s not anywhere near the top of my “I’m missing these the most” list. That would be Oranges or chips! but a coffee is always a good bet!

      still smiling

  3. Hi Gary, what a year. Well done for writing about it. I do hope that the next 12 months are much much less painful for you.
    Flora x

    • thanks lovely- so gutted it meant i couldn’t join you on your trek. so sorry. :-( hoping that I will be more aware and take appropriate action going forward.

    • Catrin
    • August 20th, 2013

    Didn’t realise what you’d been through, hope it only gets better from here

    • Hi Catrin – let’s face it, it can only get better pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease. the last year has had it’s ups and downs I can tell you. not been easy on quite a few fronts – but trying to be more realistic now and starting to smile again

    • Helen Reynolds
    • August 20th, 2013

    It’s good to have you back Gary, you’ve had such an awful time and I cannot imagine how hard it has been. However, you must be thankful, as I know you are, for those around you. Their support has been priceless. For that you are rich and many others would envy to have it. We all love reading your blogs so I hope the creative juices start flowing again and rebuild your confidence. Wishing you every success with the business.

    • Thanks Helen. you are right support is priceless and i will be forever grateful. It came from so many different sources, from people I am close to and from those that are simply acquaintances, all of it welcome and none of it trivial. I am starting to get my mojo back on so will hopefully get more inspiration soon. thanks again

    • David Gibbard
    • August 21st, 2013

    OMG – I had no idea. Having missed all your trials and tribulations over the last 12 months or so, I am probably not in a position to say I am glad you are coming through the other side! Are you also off the music too, or can you still enjoy a tune or two?

    • thanks buddy – never likely to go off the music, in fact my taste is getting heavier and heavier – fancy a coffee/lunch soon? I can come to you.

        • David Gibbard
        • August 27th, 2013

        Absolutely mate. I am still working in GPK, so we could go somewhere local to here? Or maybe Theale?

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