So this Friday gone, I did it! I succeeded where I had previously failed. I took the 2 buses to get to my therapy appointment. But of course all did not go smoothly – do they ever?
Fortunately it was a dry, sunny day. I set out a bit early so I could stop at the shop before the first bus arrived. I get there and discover that my bank card wasn’t where it should be! I didn’t have it on me. The night before I’d sent my daughter to the shop with it and turns out she still had it in her coat pocket. This I only discovered after frantically trying to top up my phone so I could send messages. Frantic because first I didn’t like being out with no cash on me an second because Vodafone’s menu system is a nightmare. Plus I was cold and really wanted to get my gloves back on.
The bus came and I used my bus pass for the very first time. I was worried it wouldn’t take it (another reason I wanted some cash on me). But the little light went green and I was on my way. I have done this exact route into town many times a few years back but still was on the edge of my seat the whole way. I did my best to just look out of the window and breathe. I listened to some relaxing music on my headphones but just couldn’t relax. It helped though.
In town, I left that bus with a “Thank You” to the driver and set about walking round the corner to where I was to get the second bus. I was early so stepped away from the people and had a cigarette. There was a bus sat in the bus lane with “Not In Service” on his sign and a delivery van a bit further down blocking the lane. It made me nervous that I wouldn’t see my bus coming. It caused a bit of chaos and a back-up on the road as buses tried to squeeze into the little space left.
I nearly missed my bus because I was so worried about it coming that I almost didn’t notice the “Not In Service” bus had started up and was the one I needed. My anxiety was heightened on this journey as I had never ridden it before. I knew where I needed to get off but struggled to remember the landmarks of the road (I have driven up and down the road many times before). A young man got on in a rush to get to hospital as his partner was being induced that morning. He was a nice guy and talking helped me a bit to cope with my anxiety.
I got to my stop and got off. My plan had been to go for a coffee in a cafe since I was 40 mins early. But no bank card foiled that plan. So I set off for my therapists office. I hadn’t realised while driving this was uphill. My hip was already in a lot of pain from walking first thing and the jolting of the buses. And the wind was blowing strongly. Uphill and into the wind for 10 minutes. I arrived for my appointment 30 minutes early. Frozen to the bone. The receptionist took pity and made me a cup of coffee. I was very grateful.
Afterwards, I found the right stop and made it back to town. I decided that instead of rushing to catch the bus home, I would meander a bit. The next one would come in just over an hour. So, I went to the bank and withdrew some cash over the counter. I treated myself to Taco Bell for lunch. I posted some letters. And I bought myself a new dress and socks. A bit more relaxed I went to the stop and caught my bus home.
The walk home was hard. I was in a lot of pain by this point and felt completely drained energy-wise. I got in my house, dropped everything and collapsed on the couch. I slept for two hours. When I awoke, I was still tired but able to manage a bit better.
Since then, I have been useless. Between exhaustion and pain I have done nothing but rest and recover. It’s two days later and I’m now just able to write. All of this has meant that I haven’t yet been able to enjoy my success. I haven’t been able to pat myself on the back and say “Well done you”. My brain doesn’t really work like that. It is more apt to say “People do this all day everyday – you’re nothing special. This is no great feat”. Now my mind is already filled with “But can we manage next Friday?”. I do wish it would just stop for a moment sometimes and feel the good stuff before worrying again.