Today is international day of happiness. It's also the day I had a hospital check up appointment and asked the question I've been avoiding for exactly one year and two months: how long will my donor liver last? I know it's strange that it's taken me this long to ask that, but it takes a lot of courage to ask a question you don't want to know the answer to. And I wish I hadn't asked it today. Having had your life saved by somebody, sometimes makes it very difficult to deal with emotions. Today for example, when told my liver will likely last between 5 and 15 years, I shrank into my chair in horror and tears flooded my cheeks in moments. And at the same time, I have to be grateful that I got these extra 5 to 15 years. Which of course I am, but I also, just sometimes, want to be allowed to be scared. Scared, really really bloody angry, and incredibly sad for myself.
But instead, because it's international day of bloody happiness, I am going to think about something that makes me happy, something that I can only do because of her, my donor, and I'm going to concentrate on being happy, knowing I'll be able to do it for at least another three years and ten months. Running, this is for you...
Thank you, you have made me happy. Because of you I found the man of my dreams, because of you I discovered Uganda. Because of how strong you made me, my body held on for my donor organ, and my life was saved.
And you continue to make me happy now too. Because of you I stand on the top of mountains and see the beauty beneath, I breathe the freshest air deep into my lungs, my mind clears and I find solutions to my problems. I see places most people never get to see, I feel strength most people never get to feel. Because of you, for at least an hour every day, I don't notice my hands shaking from my medication, and I don't think about how soon I might have to leave the party after all.
Because of you, running, I get to show people that transplant recipients don't have to be weak, that we're worth saving, that signing up to the organ donor register saves whole lives, not half lives.
Because of you, running, I don't need to scream and sob. With you I run so fast, let it hurt so much, that you take that pain in my mind, you pull it down through my legs and out, leaving it as footprints in the mud. You give my mind space to feel happiness. And my dedication to you gives me something to aim for, and to achieve.
Let's not forget running, that because of you I get to eat crumpets oozing with butter, whole slabs of feta cheese, and full fat everything. I get to savour them all without a moment of guilt, just pure, delicious joy.
Because of you, running, I have enjoyed whole days of glee after breaking a PB in a morning race, I have been cheered and patted on the back. Because of you I have lost my voice cheering so hard for Mo Farah, and had the experience of sharing a stadium crammed with other people just as euphoric.
You, running, are as good for my mind and wellbeing, as you are for my muscles and health. I need you for my happiness. You always make things better, even if just a bit.
Because of you, running, I leave the house every day. Even on days where I really don't want to. Where I want to hide under a blanket and throw my medication out the window and selfishly, thoughtlessly wail "why me?" Even then I leave the house, hidden behind the veil of speed so nobody sees my face for more than a moment. And leaving the house is important, because she saved me so that I could be a part of this world.
Because of you, running, my donor liver has the best chance of living for more than 5-15 years inside me. I have the best chance of having more than 5-15 years with you, with Paul, with air in my lungs and a skip in my step.
I don't want to leave the party, and I don't want to keep partying if I can't be strong enough to do it with you.
Thank you running, for letting me feel pain without feeling any guilt about it. Thank you for being the complete opposite of lying in a hospital bed, too weak to brush my own teeth or hold my own cup of water. Thank you for making me happy, and when you can't make me happy, for making me numb. #internationaldayofhappiness
Thank you so much for reading, please click the heart...mainly to cheer me up.