It will not come as a shock to most that my life post encephalitis has become somewhat of a planned and organised event. It has been explained to be numerous times that the brain damage I have suffered has lead to me needing to have everything as organised as it possibly can be. I personally believe that this new sense of organisation must in some way root from the lack of control you encompass when being ill. Not only that, but I hate mess, I cannot stand it when things are out of place.
So, now that you understand how my brain tends to work, you will join me in being shocked at how today panned out.
Everyday for the past six months has been the same. At around 11am each day I hear the gentle thud of the post reaching the floor as it has been shoved through the letterbox. I rush to the front door, searching with my eyes for a glance of that brown envelope. After sorting through the various different white envelopes filled with NHS appointment letters and reminders, I feel another thud in my heart when I realise it has not come. It has become almost routine.
Today was different though. I watched the postman walking past the window, I listened the opening clang of the letterbox, I heard the bundle of envelopes clunk to the floor, but I didn’t get up and check.
When Mother came home for lunch I walked past the front door and briefly glanced at the pile of envelopes. For some reason, they had spread out across the floor, making the place look rather untidy. As I am somewhat impartial to mess nowadays I took it upon myself to pick up the letters and put them onto the telephone table.
It was then that I saw it.
A brown envelope.
Not only that, but one with DVLA written in black ink on the front. I gave it a shake, it felt heavier than it should do if it was just paper. The amount of times that I have hoped, wished and prayed that my license would come meant that I had lost all sense of expectation for ever actually getting it back.
I walked into the kitchen, where Mum was rushing through her lunch to get to a meeting and cautiously opened the envelope.
Every other time I have had a brown DVLA envelope through I have torn it open as quickly as possible, today I merely slowly unpeeled the folded down part and pulled out the innards.
But there it was.
My driving license.
After not driving for over eighteen months I cannot begin to express my relief at finally receiving this piece of post. They may have only given me a one-year license, but that is one more year than I had yesterday. Funny how just one day can make such a difference.
I finally feel free. I have got my freedom back.
Whilst I may now have to plan each car journey to a tee and be sure to have every part of my car thoroughly organised, I am now free to live again.
Just to make today even more special, the car that I am going to be driving was given to me as a gift from my lovely Granne and I am so happy to have my Granddad’s numberplate on it too!