Getting Directions is an ongoing story about what makes someone who they are.
It’s written for everyone.
The intention is to be a good read. Interesting. Worthwhile. Entertaining. Useful.
We’re all busy and so it’s written in easy-to-digest short segments.
So … why?
Bear with me.
As I write, a little over five-and-a-half years ago I nearly died.
I was out cycling, as I often was. I was probably knocked off my bike by a deer. Huge brain injuries. I was on my own. A country lane. No-one saw it happen. A Post Office delivery driver found me. Air ambulance. Hospital.
I don’t actually know any of this. I’ve learnt it all later, from what people have told me. For me, the brain injuries acted as if someone had hit a re-set button.
Major emergency surgery – six hours. For the next 72 hours the main question was whether to switch the life-support machine off. Then it became clear I would live but no-one was sure if I’d come out of the coma I was in. A month and plenty of set-backs later, no-one was sure what I’d be like – physically or mentally – as I began to gain consciousness. Two weeks later, no-one was sure what would happen next.
Weeks in a rehab ward. Eventually I came home from hospital. I was damaged but, supported by incredible love and care, I was just about functioning. I started to try to make sense of it all.
Come the new year I started looking back to get directions.
That was odd for me. Up until then, all my life I’d always, deliberately, kept my focus on what’s ahead. But I needed to find my way again.
I was looking for what I had been, up until the accident, and I was looking for what had made me that person.
I’m still looking.
Only recently, I realised that absolutely everything I think now is being remembered and understood through my damaged, distorted prism.
But I also realised that that’s OK. We – you, me, all of us – are in this together. Everyone’s thoughts and memories are damaged and distorted – by time, context, culture, beliefs, experiences, accidents, genetics and more.
So, yes, I’m still looking. ‘Getting Directions’ is about what I’ve found so far.
Getting Directions: Essence / Purpose
Getting Directions includes some surprises, some tears, some smiles and lots, lots more. It is about pretty well anything that makes up a life – my life, your life.
Along the way, Getting Directions is about health. Physical and also mental health. The well-being of the brain. The health of everyone’s mind is as vital as the health of any other part of them. We should all be aware of that. It’s nothing to shy away from.
It is also a story about what we all have in common. However anyone’s personality is formed and whatever the influences there are on it. However a mind is damaged, altered or developed. At root we have a lot in common with each other. We are all alike: we’re all people living lives in the same world.
And Getting Directions is about caring. Caring for others. Caring for friends and family, for lovers and strangers. Caring for the people who are around us all. And caring for ourselves. It’s about carers, caring, and being cared-for. Care changes the lives of all of us, one way or another.
Yes, Getting Directions is wide-ranging. That’s fine. That’s how lives are. Within it all, I hope you’ll find things that help make your life and the lives of those around you a little bit better.