Is this what it feels like, I thought, losing everything?
Steel shutters were clanging down in my head: I dared not even think about my son, just emerging from his teenage years, or of my sorry future.
But I could safely bear witness and carry on writing in my head. A correspondent from a hidden war.
On Good Friday, 2010 Melanie Reid fell from her horse, breaking her neck and fracturing her lower back. She was 52.
Paralysed from the top of her chest down, she was to spend almost a full year in hospital, determinedly working towards gaining as much movement in her limbs as possible, and learning to navigate her way through a world that had previously been invisible to her.
As a journalist Melanie had always turned to words and now, on a spinal ward peopled by an extraordinary array of individuals who were similarly at sea, she decided that writing would be her life-line. The World I Fell Out Of is an account of that year, and of those that followed. It is the untold 'back story' behind Melanie's award-winning 'Spinal Column' in The Times Magazine and a testament to 'the art of getting on with it'.
Unflinchingly honest and beautifully observed, this is a memoir about the joy - and the risks - of riding horses, the complicated nature of heroism, the bonds of family and the comfort of strangers. Above all, The World I Fell Out Of is a reminder that at any moment the life we know can be turned upside down - and a plea to start appreciating what we have while we have it.