Today for the first time in seven months I drove. I went outside and saw the cobwebs around my little scooter, the spiders that had made it their home and decided today was the day. I put my hand through the cobwebs and watch the spiders run for cover as I turned the engine on.
My heart leaped into my month as the familiar rumble started, the indicator turned on and the back wheel began to spin. Putting my helmet and gloves on felt alien but natural. Like when you load a save game from months ago. Taking to road it was just like riding a bicycle. A really big powered bicycle. I remembered the rules, I remembered tricks, it all came rushing back but still I had that sense of uneasiness. Looking in my rear view mirror and not seeing Riley distressed me, watching a car not indicate, seeing a truck run through a stop sign. I shuddered each time but I feel more comfortable with each passing moment. Arriving home with a sense of achievement.
Today I took a step forward, it took some serious work, tears and a lot of ice cream on my return but I did it. I semi conquered my fear of the scooter. I still have a sense of dread when I see it, I still remember learning to drive with Riley, all our adventures out to take photos but like I say “It’s the little victories”
What is a little victory?
Something achieved that might not be meaningful to others, but is meaningful to you. For example, things like showering used to be a little victory to me. It wasn’t going to make me feel on top of the world but it did make me feel slightly less like a freak.
Why should you celebrate these ‘little victories’?
They create momentum. When we first start getting our lives a little bit more in order there is a sense of pride and excitement. Like when I cooked dinner the first time. But as time went on I become depressed again. I lost the faith that I could do it, until I got dragged to a social occasion. Proud of myself again I had the momentum to again continue on with some tasks that I had put to the side.
They give you the confidence you need. If you only concentrate on the big victories you wouldn’t get a confidence burst/sense of purpose as much.
They make you happier. Doing things that you couldn’t before gives you a little ego boost. You feel less stressed and bring a smile to your face.
They make your failures feel less like failures. Failure is unavoidable. Especially when your life is shit. I remember the first time after Riley died I attempted to go to work. I got as far as the front door, sat down and cried on my doorstep. Dragging myself back to my bed, I noticed that my washing had been sitting there since just after the accident. I folded it and put it away. Upon getting back into bed I remember this was a step for me, sure I didn’t get to work (Sorry John) but I did put my washing away.
Find the little victories during your day and when you do, cherish it, give yourself a pat on the back, acknowledge it. It’s worth it, you did the thing! You did a thing you have not managed before!
So my driving today? What did this mean to me?
It means that the next time it’s pissing down with rain and I need to get groceries I can take the scooter, next time I have a party on the opposite side of the city, I can drive. Helping with the healing process and being social. It also motivated me to do a bunch of other stuff, got the washing out, cleaned my room, going to have a shower and then eat something.
The war rages on between my emotional health but this is one battle I have won.
The most important thing in life might be finding happiness from the smallest of victories and something to always remember is there is no limit to how many little victories you can have. Just hoard them like a little dragon!
Riley with his first motorbike. Look at his little excited face ❤