The return to ‘normalish’

This weekend was the first weekend in the last 6 or so weeks that things felt relatively normal. When I say that, I mean that things weren’t defined by what was happening/had happened to me. The kids were relaxed and happy and I felt that I could really spend quality time invested in them rather than worrying all of the time about what my future was going to be.

A highlighted list of the relatively ‘normalish’ weekend:

  • Walking in the glorious sunshine of Roundhay park
  • Spending time with the big child in the park together on Friday after a long old week.
  • Being reunited with Lady Venning for ‘run club’ – She did do slightly better on the ‘watch out there is a tree root front’
  • Enjoying a BBQ at a friends house that I haven’t seen for a while and loving every minute of their company.
  • Going ‘out out’ to a rather delicious ‘Jane Lawson Loves’ supper club (which my dad claimed was a posh way for saying going out for dinner…. I have to agree there.) In my fancy pants new patch.
  • Watching the chiblets do their first cross country relay and bursting with pride as they gave it their all around a muddy field in Miggy park.
  • Seeing the chiblets wanting to be just like ‘mummy!’
  • Trusting Mr Me-myself -and-eye to take me on a ‘fun’ Mothers Day run which pretty much replicated the Barkley Marathon route (was it a blessing that I couldn’t see the 30 ft drop to my left hand side as I was running along…?)

So as you can read, a normalish weekend (there was a lot more ‘normal’ stuff, but I’m pretty sure that you don’t want to read about the contents of my shopping basket, or the intricacies of how I managed to change the under sheet of a top bunk with one eye (which is a tricky enough job with two eyes!)

I thought instead I would think about this journey in my personal life and try and equate it somehow to my professional life. I’ve mentioned before that I run a small not for profit organisation called Mini Mermaids where we are striving to grow a generation of girls (and boys) that are brave, fearless, kind, leaders, not afraid to take risk, comfortable in their own skin, able to make mistakes. We do this through a combination of movement and activities (we use running as it is the most accessible thing for anyone to do) and a curriculum which encourages open discussions and thought provoking activities to enable children to look at themselves in a different light. Throughout our programmes, we break each week into themes which encompasses the whole body. I use the themes often to check in with myself, to see how I am feeling and I thought that I would share them here:

Head – What I see and hear from everyone around me is love, support, sometimes sadness but an overwhelming sense of ‘we’ve got you’ This is invaluable to me and I am thankful every day for it. Darkness isn’t great, both in terms of physically and emotionally. I can’t see very well in the dark at all and this is impacting my life. I’ve always loved soft lighting and have lamps galore in my house, but I now need to have the bright overheard lights on quite a lot of the time, even in the day, which does affect how I feel about my home and myself. It is a huge physical difference for me. Running in the dark is not an option and even when it is cloudy (today was wet and cloudy and the light was really flat) I struggle to differentiate the different levels of the pavement and roads. Again, I feel that this has a huge impact on my life and it actually makes me really cross. When I started to watch Line of Duty on Sunday night, I very nearly stopped watching it as I felt that there was no point as I wasn’t getting the full experience of the programme. I do appreciate how silly and superficial it all sounds, but these are the things that buzz around my head. The darkness is also a time where my emotions take on a life of their own. I thought that I had a grip on my insomnia but after two relativity ok nights , it is back with a vengeance and I find myself grieving over my eye and wishing more than anything that I could have the sight back and questioning why it has happened. What had I done in my life which meant that I deserved this. These are thoughts that I can supress in the day but in the long dark nights, not so much.

Heart – How I feel about myself… well this is really hard. After spending a lot of my teenage years and 20’s full of self loathing and placing my self worth on my weight, I had come to the point where I loved celebrating my body and all that it had done. All the stretch marks and wobbly skin are a sign of my two chiblets, the wrinkles on my face are a sign of experience and a full life, all of the other scars and imperfections have a story. My body has run marathons, been out dancing until dawn, travelled the world, had two kids, endured many highs and heartbreaks. The eyes though, they are so important in a person, they hold so much emotion, and are the first thing that people notice about somebody. At the moment I can’t have my eye uncovered at all, as it hits home that I can’t see anything and that is actually worse that wearing a patch….. I’m not sure how or when that is going to stop. It may never stop and I may be Captain Corne forever.

Hands – I love helping people. Whether it’s through work or volunteering or stopping to check that someone is ok when they look like they are upset. So when the tables are turned and people are offering me help, I sometimes find it difficult to accept it, whether it’s because I think that I am fiercely independent and don’t need any help, I am not sure. I am trying to accept more help though and I love the amount of people that have messaged me saying that they are happy to run with me! I promise I will take you all up on that!

Belly – This one is difficult as whenever I lose control over something in my life, I automatically become uber controlled over what I eat. I know about it and I am super aware that it happens and I am really trying not to do it. I know my body needs nourishment to heal and repair and it also needs to feel relaxed and happy. Some super wonderful friends have made some beautiful food for me (who doesn’t love someone else cooking!) and so far I have been able to stay pretty relaxed and eaten food that makes my body and heart feel happy.

Legs – What have my strengths been whilst on this journey. I have been open and honest about my feelings and I haven’t felt shame if I have needed to vent or cry (again this has been made possible by my wonderful community) I have kept my sense of humour (even if the doctors did not crack a smile) I have met and connected with some amazing new people who are going through the same as me and we have been able to support and help each other. I have laced up my trainers and gone running, to show that I can still be me. I have got up, got dressed and faced the world in some form every single day when all I wanted to do was put my head under the covers and hide from everyone. I have become an expert in plucking my eyebrows with one eye (try it, it isn’t as easy as you think it is)

Feet – What are my goals?…. well, I am going to continue to get up every single day and face the world. I am going to continue to be as open and honest as I can be about what I am going through, cry when I need to, get angry and pissed at the world and then thank my lucky stars at how fortunate I have been. Raise as much money as I can for Ocumel UK and raise awareness of Ocular Melanoma and…. most importantly, I’m going to continue laughing, loving, shouting, dancing, swearing under my breath, singing, running, banging my head against a brick wall and enjoying being a mum to my two monkey brains.

Have a great rest of week and be kind to yourselves folks!

Captain Corne x

2 thoughts on “The return to ‘normalish’

  1. Hi there, brave writing and well done.
    I’ve been where you are, lost my right at 17 and now at 61 have spent most of my life in 2D.
    There’s been good and bad. I always wished someone could have discussed things with me but there was no support network at all.
    If there’s anything I can help you with, an ear, practical advice and what your life will be, please don’t hesitate to message me. I’m Sheffield based.


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