I used to pride myself on being independent. I didn't rely on anyone for anything.
One thing my illness has taught me is that asking for and receiving help is not a sign of weakness. People don't think less of you if you need help. While I get that, I'll be honest - I still missed my independence.
For the past 2 yrs I could go to a grocery store or Wal-Mart/Target by myself on my good days, because I could lean on a cart. But to go to a mall, or to go anywhere on my not-so-good days, required someone going along to either push me in a wheel chair, or later, lifting my scooter out of the back of the Vue.
We recently purchased a lift that goes on the back of the Vue and it has a ramp so I can drive the scooter on and off by myself.
It was a chance to have my indepence back and I was so excited!
Yesterday my chance finally arrived for me to go to a mall all by myself. The night before I was like a child on Christmas Eve.
But once the morning came, and it was time for me to go, I got so nervous. My face got red, my hands were shaking and my stomach was all in knots. The "What Ifs" hit me and thinking of all the things that could go wrong and having no one there to help me started to freak me out.
Fear of the "What Ifs" has stopped me for so long and I knew I had to push through. Honestly, I had tears in my eyes as I rode my scooter up to the entrance of the mall. I said a little prayer asking for courage, and the doors to the mall opened.
Within minutes all my fears dissipated. I spent over an hour in just one store looking, browsing, trying things on. Things I hadn't done since 2008. Oh sure, I had looked in malls and tried things on, but Jay was always along, and even though he never said a single word, I knew it was pure torture for him. lol For that reason, I would look for a short while and try one or two things on and we'd move on.
I tried on so many clothes yesterday, it was awesome! I went into so many stores and I was really proud of myself.
One of my biggest fears was the food court. Trying to maneuver through all those people and to try to get my scooter through to a table worried me. When I ordered my food, I asked that it be put in a "to go" bag so I could put that in the basket of my scooter instead of trying to balance a tray (yea, that would have been total disaster!). I went around to the outside of the food court and found a table that I could park my scooter right against, and it went well.
I was exhausted when I left the mall, but it felt so good to have my indepence back. I have learned that it's ok to ask for help, but it's also so nice to be able to do somethings on my own again.
And when I look in my closet and see new jackets, pants and shirts in with some of my other items, I can't help but smile to know that I was able to do it all by myself. :)