Stranded Again


Funny, wish that person was me and I was able to walk around and shovel.  Never thought I’d say that, but unfortunately I am once again stuck inside waiting out a terrible snow storm that is hitting our area.  These feelings of helplessness come across in waves and I always tell myself, next time I will think differently and I am trying to not obsess about all the things I can’t do.

I live on the East Coast in the United States and we are having a winter with record low temperatures and lots of snow.  I live by myself and my mom, who is recently widowed, lives about 2 blocks from me.  When I became ill, I was living in NYC and loved living there, but when you are ill and on disability, NYC is a very lonely and extremely expensive place to live.  People can’t visit because there is no where to park during the day, the traffic scares people away and being without a car, I either had to walk or take public transportation, which isn’t suitable for my current lifestyle.

So I decided to move to an outer borough and be close to my family.  For the first time in my life (as I had lived in NYC since 1993) I am dealing with shoveling snow, clearing off cars and maneuvering on snowy unplowed streets.  Once again, in anticipation of a big storm, with upwards of 14 inches of snow, I am staying with my mom.  This allows me to make sure she is alright during the storm, we have company for the duration and our car can be safely parked in a covered garage, which eliminates the need for me to shovel or clear the car.

So while many of the essentials have been taken care of, I still have thoughts of helplessness.  The “what if scenarios aren’t always that beneficial when you have an overactive mind.  I have been listening to Louis Hay’s audio about how to love yourself  and one of the things she states is that We Need to LOVE OURSELVES enough to stop SCARING OURSELVES.  She also emphasizes how we need to stop terrorizing ourselves with bad thoughts.

When I listen to her audio, it all sounds so easy.  Just stop your thoughts and wham your life will be different. Be kind to your mind.  Everything she says is so true and really easy to comprehend but not all that easy to implement.

It appears that I will be stuck in for a while and hopefully I will emerge a stronger person and listen to the words of Ms. Hay,s as she has a loyal following and really does speak simple but powerful truths.


Sometimes helpless, but never hopeless

man in yellow flower  field under beautiful sky
This week has proven to be a challenging one for me because of how limited I am with my physical and mental capabilities. My system becomes overwhelmed very easily, whether it’s from sound, light or activity, they all seem to cause a shutdown of my brain and my body.

Aside from managing a chronic condition, life does go on and there are everyday mundane tasks that need to be accomplished. This week I had an issue with my cable service provider (Time Warner). I am disgusted by their lack of understanding for dealing with a person with a disability. After having a very frustrating conversation with the representative, which left me weakened to begin with, I had to go take care of a quick errand.

I went to my car, which thankfully was parked right in front of my apartment building, and the car wouldn’t start. I started to panic, which only exaggerated my symptoms and sat paralyzed for a few moments, running through every possible scenario in my head.

I finally gathered my thoughts and calmed down and called my insurance company for a jump. I waited an hour, but rested during this time, and then had to drive the car to a nearby mechanic. The car had to stay overnight and when I was driven home and was alone in my apartment, I became very anxious and felt stranded.

Now what a ridiculous thing for me to feel. I live in a very populated area, in a borough of NYC, in an apartment building filled with people, yet I was still anxious. What if I needed something, how would I be able to get it? Even though there is a supermarket and drug store one block away from where I live, the stores may as well be a mile away, as I can’t walk to them. What if my 85 year old mother, that lives around the corner from me, got ill and I wouldn’t be able to walk around the block to help her? I could come up with a lot of what if’s and believe me I did.

These feelings of helplessness overwhelmed me and I realized how silly they all were and that the likelihood of me needing to do anything but rest for the next 24 hours was remote, but I still felt helpless.

Of course I survived the night without any problems. My mom was alright and I had enough food in my apartment and I didn’t need anything from the drugstore, but I did realize how vulnerable I am to situations that I don’t have control over.

Healthy people don’t realize how lucky they are or how in control they are of so many situations, that they take forgranted. Not having a car for a day, is a big inconvenience, but it doesn’t create fear or helplessness. If I was healthy, none of the images floating through my mind would have occurred because I would be able to depend upon my body.

Just because I felt helpless that day, I was never and will never be hopeless. I still have hope that one day my body will be strong enough so that I can rely on it in any and all situations that I face.