“How are you?”
That is a question that I, as everyone, gets asked regularly.
My response is, “I’m fine!”
But I am not. I’m bored. I’m lonely. I’m missing out. But that’s life for everyone at the moment.
My life is pretty simple. I get up each day. Pleasantly greeted by my morning carer. They gently wake me up, I go for a shower, then they help me get dressed, make my bed, tidy my flat. They make me breakfast and we have a little chat. They’re only here with me for 2.5-3 hrs each day, but the work they do is invaluable. I care for them so much.
Then the day is mine. I don’t have a job. I have been unemployed by my TBI (traumatic brain injury) 6 years ago. I used to be a work alcoholic. I was a buyer of womenswear at Harvey Nichols for 10 years. I loved the job; the fashion, the pace of the work, the demanding nature of it. But now life is very different.
How do I spend most of my days? Watching Netflix in my room, specifically my bed, as I am more comfortable there than in my chair in the living room. Most recently I have been watching Dynasty, Snowpiecer, Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, White Lines…it goes on.
However, I do try doing something at least during the day.
My LEGS group has encouraged us to walk more than 2000 steps or to get in 200 sit to stands over the day. I have tried this. It’s more knackering than I would have thought! I used to walk to work and back from South Kensington to Knightsbridge each day, and go to the gym 4 times a week, so my fitness is at such a different level than what it used to be! But I tried it. I really have to make myself do it, being in the house all day, but I made it! I’m very glad, but at the same time, very annoyed that my fitness level is nothing like it used to be before my TBI.
So, I have been trying to do other things to interest me during the day. One successful measure had been a ‘Happy Colour’ app that I have downloaded to my phone. This is a glorified painting by numbers app! It’s very simple, very cathartic and a lovely way to kill my day avidly colouring in like an over talented school girl. I would recommend it to anyone who has too much time to use up!
Finally, I have been very avid in cooking for myself. I know it’s such a simple thing, but I feel it is a far heathier thing to do than to survive on ready meals. I believe that processed food means all of the original nutrients are stripped out, they contain too many vegetable oils, too many chemicals, they’re packed with sugar and salt and they are mass produced. So instead I have been using my foodie skills in making myself such dishes as a shoulder of lamb with pistachio salsa verde, sushi baked salmon, and courgette carbonara. Yum.
So I am keeping myself busy. The next time someone asks, “How am I?’’ I can tell them, honestly, “I’m fine’’.