ups and downs but always moving forward

Well I’ve stopped counting the days and weeks since I’ve been back in the UK but I think its about 9 or 10 and can honestly say the longest few weeks of my life. Yep, even longer than the weeks before I first set off because at least then I knew I was going. When I had to come home at Christmas the plan was always to continue with my travels to Austrailia but I just didn’t know how long it would take to recover.

It took about 4 weeks before I got rid of my crutches and another week until I could actually wear a pair of shoes.Until that point my right ankle was so swollen that I couldn’t even wear a sock! chilly toes!
Most of the injuries are well healed but unfortunately my ankle is being stubborn and is going to take a little longer. The cuts were so deep that they’ve only just healed over and the damage to the tissue is quite bad- ive been told not to run or wear stilettoes for at least 6 months but I tell ya if I see another wave coming i am RUNNING! and I dont care how much it hurts.

Theres been ups and downs.The ups being my instant fame and everyone being so nice to me! thanks! the downs being everything else. no money, no belongings, no job, the constant realisation that ive lost everything I worked so hard to get, the life that I was finally happy with, the f***ing snow in this country, the scars on my legs, the flashbacks, the nightmares and my total loss of independence. But mainly I feel down because I feel guilty for having these thoughts when it could have been oh so much worse!
These are all normal thoughts I’m told but I still wish they weren’t there. Somedays I feel so low I cant get out of bed, other days I feel like I’ve finally won the lottery! Its literally one day at a time and certainly no rushing.

Luckily I have people to talk to. My friends and family have been fantastic, helping when I couldn’t walk, listening to the story over and over again and supplying me with lots of wine.
I went to visit my friend in sweden who was with me at the time. I thought this would help give me some answers.It did just that but I found out how just how close I was to being totally swept away when the second wave hit- something I hadn’t realised before. The trip set me back a bit but then sometimes you have to go back before you go forward. On a positive note I loved Sweden and I felt like a true traveller again. Didn’t get to see reindeers but saw the real Ikea and fell over lots in the snow. I’m not accident prone- really!

A while ago a guy contacted me through this website after reading my story and we discovered that not only had we gone through really similar experiences but we both live in the same area. After exchanging our happy stories we decided that we would fly back to phi phi together to lay a few ghosts. Most days I check to see how the little island is doing and today I finally heard good news! Its back in business! shops have opened and there are visitors. We’ve booked flights for 20th March and we’re hoping to stay there for a couple of months to help with the ever continuing clear up. I cant wait to get there and try and work out where I was staying. I know theres nothing left but id still like to see. We’re staying up in the hills this time. No more paradise beachfront bungalows!

So with 2 weeks to go I’ve just about enough time to say cheerio to friends again before I leave with my rucksack that will only contain a bikini and diving mask. Who knows if Im ready to go back but theres only one way to find out….

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