Comradery can be found in many places like the camaraderie of soldiers at war who offer support to each other despite the difficulty of their circumstances or the evident camaraderie among the members of a victorious team celebrating their winnings and recounting the highlights of their game.
Success creates a bond for teammates that often continues off the court. But even during times of low morale, during defeat, a sense of camaraderie still exists among soldiers and teammates alike by consoling one another and commending each other for trying their best.
The camarades I am referring to in this blog are of a different nature but the spirit of friendship and community nonetheless apparent. We were a sports team similar to a band of soldiers returning from war with our heads held high and our medals hung around our necks. We were returning from the Interspinal games in Stoke Mandeville whilst we were all in attendence at the NRH.
We had experienced our own mental warfare each and every one of us.
At times of intense experiences and emotion we spent a lot of time in each other’s company cementing the quality of our lifelong friendships. The silence that fell between us was a comfortable spirit of familiarity and trust that existed between friends. We were an unusual team characterized by missing limbs, paralyzed body parts, crutches, wheelchairs and scars who had fought together against a common enemy, life. We formed a bond that was like no other feeling in the world. Somewhere amongst all the loss and sadness was a sense of warmth, friendship, closeness and loyalty; a brotherhood of understanding that no hospital shrink could relate to. The members of our group supported each other during the highs and lows and during moments of defeat we drew closer. Despite the happiness of leaving the hospital, I couldn’t help but feel an element of sadness, a painful lonesomeness at our dispersal.
I would like to dedicate this blog to the camarades I made whilst in the NRH. For all the hours playing wheelchair basketball, tabletennis and physio I thank you for your much valued company!