St Mungo’s Day, 2016

I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down.

(Chumbawamba: Tubthumping)


And then I experienced a change of perspective.

For months I had been reconciling myself to the story of my life being over, with just the epilogue to live through. But depression and hopelessness are like fear and worries. You can only bear so much. One day you either break down under them altogether, or you observe with some surprise that they no longer bother you.

Back in ’99, after months of tension, I suddenly found myself relaxed again. Two weeks ago, after months of dejection, I suddenly found myself content again. And instead of intending to simply conclude what remained of my days stuck where I was, reminiscing on my own about the past, I found myself resolved to try and get back home again.

I’m not deluding myself. I realise I probably won’t succeed. (Besides, that depression and misgivings will recur.) But I’m determined to try; I have a purpose and I feel alive once more. More alive than ever since my exile began anyway.

Incidentally, the fact that this happened on St Mungo’s Day is completely coincidental, just like its also being Stephen Hendry’s birthday. So were the tautology of that ’99 day and its being an anniversary of the battle of Flodden. But I guess that similarly to those, these new ones will make me remember the date even after years.

ETA, 13/1/17: Coincidental too the fact that one year later this would be the first full day I’d spend outside the hospital after the chemoradiotherapy stint there.



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