Living alone with a disability can be a scary thing. Most days I can function just fine. My basic needs are being met. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy or fun by any means. It is terribly isolating and lonely. But I cope. Recently I reached out on Facebook and made a post that I was having a difficult time both physically and as a result emotionally. Usually only my other disabled friends acknowledge these posts, so I mostly only talk about this stuff in private groups. So I decided to be brave, and honest and let my entire social network in. And once again it was mostly my disabled friends who responded with words of encouragement and or hugs. But I was surprised when someone not disabled reached out and sent me a text. She said, “sorry to hear you are having a tough time, do you think you need to think about assisted living?” This was like a kick in the gut. Further acknowledgement that if I was having some struggles and god forbid voicing them. That it was time to put me out to pasture so to speak. Now I know she didn’t quite mean it like that. Or perhaps she did. I don’t know. I didn’t take the time to ask because from past experience there is usually a lot of back peddling and awkward apologies that end up with a timeout period of non communication that can last for months. So I usually just let it slide and try to put myself in their shoes, and rationalize the whole situation away. Back to square one. Should I, or will I ever be honest about my situation again?
Seems like asking for help, or voicing fatigue and vulnerability is a hard concept for some. I hope and pray that one day when they meet defeat. Temporary or otherwise……..that someone actually takes the time out of their busy life to assist.
I didn’t choose this life. It chose me. All I ask is for is some acknowledgement and occasional help. Not to get thrown out when I show the least bit of frailty. I am not ready to be housed away and forgotten. I already feel that way most days, I still have a lot to offer. I still have decent days where I can still do. It might not be at a level others can. But I do the best I can.
If I could exercise or will or supplement my body to function better…..believe me I would, and have tried it all……over and over again. I keep adding this and that, and some days I just throw my hands up and ask…. “What now? Why me? FUCK this SHIT!” It gets old real fast. So if you have a suggestion for me, I welcome your input. But be prepared to hear that it’s already been done before. And I’ll try to be gracious and know you meant well, because I am sure you did. But please, before you assume or offer suggestions, ask us what we have done and if we could use help. Ask us if there is anything you can do to make life just a little less challenging. Sometimes it’s as easy as helping us with shopping, or going to a movie, or taking a drive, Or just sitting with us watching a show or sharing a meal. This life of seclusion is mostly difficult mentally. I am thankful for Social Media, but it does not compare to an actual real person in your midst.
Living life in the fast lane all of the time leaves intimate moments with others unexplored. I am planning and striving for a life of travel alone. But in reality I would very much like to share it with someone at a snails pace. Because intimacy is warm and fuzzy and heartfelt. It is mentally comforting and I think what life is all about. Life is meant to love and be loved. And I think we would all be healthier for it. So slow down and look for those that need “real” help. Take the time to find out how. Stop that buying coffee for the next person in the drive thru bullshit. I mean, if they are in that line…..they can afford to pay for it. Instead, donate to the food shelf. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, or nursing home. Call a friend who might need a moment of your time. Support a cause that is important to you. And stop avoiding human connection. There are a lot of lonely people out there that just need a hand up, and bit of someone’s time.