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Words by Julie - Living Life With Paralysis

Surely I am not alone? 1

With so much to process about our current situation, I find that I keep asking myself this question. Surely I am not the only one feeling like this?

How exactly is that? Trapped. Frustrated. Scared. Worried. Anxious. Stressed. Useless. It’s useless that was top of mind for me last night. I’m a problem solver by nature, a teacher, a helper. I want to put myself out there with solutions. But right now I have none. Not one. I can’t do anything to help anyone but myself, Theo and the kids.

My accessibility work is so far back in the minds of people right now I wonder if it will ever come about again. I can’t shop for groceries and deliver them to the door. I can’t cook and drop off food. I can’t visit my parents or see my friends but through a window…

So I asked this question: surely I am not alone feeling useless? Do you feel like this, too?

With a little help from my friend Mel, I realized that I am not useless. She reminded me that I have a voice – and I’m not afraid to say what needs to be said. I can talk to others – which, as it turns out, has already been helpful to them. And I can write.

So I am.

I want you to know that you are not alone. Even though we are all isolated, we are ALL isolated, which really means we ARE all together. It’s hard to have that perspective because we can’t see into each others homes to know it is happening. We don’t have our regular window of school/work/social interactions to know it. But we are.

We are doing everything we can to help each other. We are staying home, working from home, leaving only as one person to get necessities or preform work as an essential worker. We are doing our best to provide structure to our kids and trying to provide them with meaningful activity in the form of academics or life. We are waiting in line to take our turn in the store, touching only what we take. We are going into quarantine if we feel unwell. We are doing everything we can to keep each other, and ourselves safe.

We also need to flip it and see the good that is happening. We are connecting. I have talked more on the phone to family and friends in the last three weeks than I have in the last three years. We have forgotten the art of talking on the phone, that we can convey true feelings and hear emotion. We are not running our children to jobs and sports – no need to divide and conquer the family schedule. We are staying put and, for the most part, enjoying each other’s company. We are reading – I am on my third book in so many weeks. We are finding new ways to connect – I read a story to my nieces the other day via video chat. We are de-cluttering and doing jobs that have been on the list for a very long time. We are finding our way back to things that bring us joy.

With so many other questions we could be asking, let’s just focus on what we do know. We know that we are doing all we can. We know that there are people out there we can ask for help. But most of all, we know that we are not alone and we will get through this.

Stay well, my friends.

Julie

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