Simple things like going to the toilet are a minefield; transferring to the creaky borrowed wheelchair, physically grabbing hold of your legs to help them move feels like dragging a heaving bookcase across a room. You poke, prod and pinch and yet that left leg feels nothing. You feel empty. You feel on the verge of falling and simultaneously desperate to hang on.
You’ll spend afternoons crying, looking at the legs that refuse to walk, but you’ll soon find that resilience is the sexiest tool.
When you left hospital, there was so little information on being newly disabled in general let alone how to navigate sex. Take it upon yourself to learn.
Learn by masturbating and being delighted that you can still feel sexual desire. Initially, you’ll feel shame for thinking about desire over recovery but the two are so entwined. Spend those hazy summer and early autumn afternoons getting to know you.
You’re still the same person, inside and out. Every day feels like a dull wash of dirty water over the life once lived, but looking at photos of Richard and his naked thighs will ignite a feeling so sharp it pierces your soul.
Desire will be one of the first things that turns the dirty water crystal clear. It’ll force itself through every emotion and physical pain. It will become so loud that you want to tell the world you finally feel something real.
Your mental health will thank you so much for enjoying your own touch once more, trust me.