Today I’d like to talk briefly about HARD WORK. But before I do, I’d like to define those two words for the purpose of the post.
“HARD” – Difficult. Tough. Not pleasurable to endure.
“WORK” – Something which is not done for leisure or fun. Something that requires an effort of some sort.
These are simply MY definitions for this post. I have no idea what the dictionary has to say on the matter! I want to talk about the IMPORTANCE of HARD WORK. I’m not simply talking about loooooong hours at the office. And I’m not talking about smashin’ it at the gym. Although these could be included within the topic HARD WORK. When I say HARD WORK I’m talking more about doing something that may be difficult for you. Be it having a conversation with a loved one or colleague that isn’t going to be NICE, but is NECESSARY in your eyes. When I say HARD WORK I’m talking about facing up to something that might be tricky or difficult for you to face up to because maybe it has a lot of negative emotion linked to it in your mind. When I say HARD WORK I’m talking about having the inner strength to know it’s not going to be pleasant or enjoyable but it NEEDS TO BE DONE.
There are plenty of people who KNOW that something needs to be done. But instead, because it may be too tough to face, they procrastinate on it and instead pour their efforts elsewhere, knowing full well that this is simply something to DISTRACT them from what ACTUALLY needs doing, all the while making them look busy and also giving them SOME sort of reason as to why they’re not doing the thing they should ACTUALLY be doing. HARD WORK doesn’t always have to take a long time. It doesn’t always have to be physically demanding. And the results may not instantly show. But HARD WORK seldom doesn’t work. In fact I’ve NEVER KNOWN IT NOT TO.
As human beings I think, at times, we ALL shy away from HARD WORK and opt for the “easy way out”. Recently I’ve realised that there are depths to me that I knew not existed. To cut a LONG story short, Feb/March 2016 I got SUPER ill….. More ill than I’ve ever been. To the point my lungs barely functioned. I could hardly walk. I couldn’t lay down and therefore couldn’t sleep because of my twitchy lungs. I could hardly eat. I was crashing hard and fast and it was torture (And I really mean that word in its literal sense…. Torture is the only word for what I was going through). Every second of every day was tormenting me and quite simply, I couldn’t and wouldn’t take it anymore. I’d asked my hospital to come through for me and they wouldn’t. So without going into too much detail I decided I needed to end my suffering. I needed to end it the quickest and best way I could think of. It couldn’t involve others. It had to be on my terms. I didn’t want to hurt or RISK hurting anyone else and it needed to be something I could act on FAST. Remember, every second was torture in my body.
I decided I’d end my life. And please believe me, this was not a decision I took lightly either. Every time I’d got really ill (“sick” for you Americans!) I’d contemplated and researched it in the past KNOWING that my health would only get worse in the future and knowing my life would only get harder with more and more suffering with each time being closer and closer together. The best way I could see that I could act upon right now was to take a sharp knife, go somewhere quiet (outdoors away from people and so I could see the stars and die where I loved to live), call an ambulance so THEY (and not a member of the general public) would find me then stab myself in the heart to bleed out. (Sorry if this is too graphic for some of you… just sharing my thought process!) Sitting there under the tree that Saturday night with the knife in my hand I thought to myself, tears in my eyes, “Mate…. This is as desperate as it’s got…. But there’s no going back now” right before I plunged it into my chest.
Let me tell you, the human mind has a HUUUUUUUUUUGE wall up against plunging a knife into your own body with the intention of killing it!!!! Getting OVER that wall took a LOT of HARD WORK. It didn’t take LONG. And it wasn’t that physically tough due to the fact the knife was really sharp….. But the MENTAL HARD WORK it took to do it was IMMENSE! As you can tell, I didn’t die that night. (Despite plunging the knife in a second time about 15mins after the first because somehow I was STILL BREATHING…. Luckily I’m a big fan of irony!!) The following week I had to endure even MORE HARD WORK….. I had to find depths within myself AGAIN. AND AGAIN. AND AGAIN.
I’m now 8 weeks on and I’m STILL putting in the hard work to endeavour to get my body back into SOME form of health. Sadly it will never fully recover and around 15yrs worth of damage has been done in the space of those weeks I was ill. However I can at least get it back to a point whereby I can maintain SOME sort of active physical life and, so long as I keep up the HARD WORK, may be able to stave off getting super ill like that for another few years (fingers crossed!).
This was taken in I.C.U the day after the incident… Not my BEST side I think you’ll agree!
(The knife wound is under the sheet so as not to freak people out!)
I want to say at this juncture… PLEASE don’t get me wrong and think I’m saying the answer to your problems is to plunge a knife into yourself. I’M NOT!!!! Far from it!! But what I AM saying is that when faced with a problem. A HUGE problem. BIGGEST in my life. I tried to find a solution. And that solution took some real HARD WORK to follow through with. It may not have been the only. It may not have been the best. And obviously there are/will be consequences from my actions. But from taking that step and putting in the HARD WORK I actually managed to solve a problem I was having and I’m still here AND, in a lot of ways, stronger for it.
BE SCARED!!! Fuck know’s I was! REALLY SCARED!!! But get over the fear and do what needs to be done. (Again, please don’t go stabbing yourselves or anyone else as a result of this!!!!!). You and ONLY YOU have the power to change your life. There will ALWAYS be exterior forces that act upon your life and throw negativity your way. This will NEVER STOP. However it’s not what happens TO YOU that matters…. It’s HOW YOU DEAL WITH IT.
Now I’m in hospital and in a physical / mental place I’ve never been before. My body doesn’t feel like my own and my mind, while still mine, is finding it tough to focus on anything for more than a few moments. I’ve endured so much and I’m so tired, mentally and physically. However I KNOW that the only way out of this hell is through HARD WORK. So with everything I have I drag myself up out of bed each morning and look through stinging eyes at the tiny room around me. I force myself to take deeper breaths than is comfortable because it’s only way to heal. I work my body (albeit gently) to move my limbs, stretch them out and release all the toxins. I stretch my body backwards so the wound doesn’t heal short, leaving me bent forward in future. I try to give my mind things to focus on to distract it from the pain and discomfort in my body. I try NOT to think about how many more days I’m going to have to do this for and I TRY to stay positive throughout. I’m not saying “I’m amazing, look at meeeeeee!!!!!!!”. I’m telling this story because I NEVER KNEW I HAD THIS IN ME and can therefore pretty much GUARANTEE that you ALL have depths of character you ALSO never knew you had. I’m telling you this to ENCOURAGE and INSPIRE you that, whatever life throws your way, you CAN get through it with HARD WORK because personally, I think, HARD WORK is the answer to our problems. Not always LONG work. Or PHYSICALLY DEMANDING work….. But HARD WORK.
As a rapper once said: “HARD WORK FOREVER PAYS”
I hope whatever problems, issues you all face right now, you can use these words to give you strength to do what you know in your heart is right…. However tough it might be.
Work Hard and Stay cool 😉
Update: Since oringinally writing this post (I wrote it for my FB timeline while in hospital in my 2nd/3rd week in hospital I think) I’ve managed to complete the “Bring Sally Up” Push-Up challenge in my 4th/5th week on my 2nd attempt having not done it since 1month before I got ill. I’ve done 73 consecutive push-ups. Managed to SPRINT 50m (there was a point I didn’t think walking any more than a snails pace would be possible so to be able to sprint was a massive thing for me!) AND I’ve been out for multiple walks 5km+. None of it was easy…. but it goes to show what CAN be done if we try.
Here’s a video of the 10 push-ups I did when I was super low. When I thought I had nothing left. Just 10. Just to show MYSELF I could. Excuse the tears….
And here’s my Bring Sally Up – Press Up Challenge COMPLETED!