Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Big Lift

On the 20th, they called. We were out shopping and Joe, who had answered, asked them if they could hold while we got in somewhere warm. They must have said that they'd wait because Joe bid me follow him into one of the few accessible stores on that part of Yonge Street. We found a place to stop and he handed the phone to me. It was the wheelchair repair place, the people who were to fix my flat tire. I answered to be told that the wheels were seized and impossible to be removed, they'd have to be cut off, then new ones needed to be ordered from the States.

How long? Over a month.

How much? Oh, my, that's a lot.

I hung up feeling devastated. Just devastated. I really use and really depend on that chair. My replacement scooter is old and has very limited range. We rolled out of the store where we'd taken shelter and were quiet, Joe reacted to the timing and the price, oh my the price, in the same way that I did. Silence seemed to be the only reasonable response.

We got home, got in, and made tea.

One thing we've learned from being in the UK was that nothing, nothing, can't be fixed by having a good cuppa tea. Putting the kettle on is prelude to calming down and thinking things through. We would have to adapt, and plan, and figure things out. It's the holidays, we have plans. We are determined that nothing would change. We'll do what we planned on doing.

Then Joe said, "And tomorrow is your birthday."

Yeah, happy freaking birthday.

I got up yesterday, early. Got on the bus. Rode to work. By the time I got there, I was determined. I was going to have a really happy birthday. We had plans. We were going to do things I really wanted to do with people I really wanted to do them with. Wheelchair broken or not. Cost outrageous, or not. Life is life and we're not promised a smooth ride.

So I did.

I had a happy birthday.

It took energy to lift my spirit. But I've been lifting weights for several months now. My arms are stronger. Now it's time to exercise my mental muscles, by lifting what would normally cause me a depression. I don't want it, I don't want the darkness to come.

This morning I could feel the tiredness that comes from a mental workout.

I'd lifted my spirits.

I'd had a genuine good time because I willed it.

That's a workout that's worth doing.

(Please know that I'm not suggesting that those of you who fight depression like I do only need to 'lift spirits', I know that's simplistic, this is very personal for just me and just about me. I'd never been able to do that before, and that gives me a little bit of hope. I have no idea if I'll be able to keep those spirits up or if the storm will come. All I know, is it hasn't come yet.)


ABEhrhardt said...

In many, if not most cases of non-clinical depression, cognitive behavior therapy methods will make a major improvement.

Especially when it's an inconvenient time, like the middle of the night, to get 'help,' if you already have learned to do the things which work for you, you have resources.

I wouldn't suggest it either, for major depression, but when two different people gave me the same book in grad school (Feeling Good: the new mood therapy, Dr. David Burns) back in the 70s, I learned to do the steps and make the effort.

Depression lies. It tells you there is nothing you can do. But doing almost anything helps some. And that's a big part of the CBT: talking back.

I hope you figure out how to get those wheels paid for - tell me where to send a small contribution. I'd be happy to, to get you up and running again, and I'm sure I'm not the only one here.

Let us do something for you.

Unknown said...

Ugh. Well, it's got to be done-and to hear that the cost/length of repair did not send you directly to the valley of despair is the good news. It's ok to reflect on how you are experiencing this differently than you did in the past. You are gently showing (not telling) me that exercise does make a difference, over time, in mood and energy levels. I appreciate that. It's important to hear.

Rachael said...

Dave, I am so pleased for you. Knowing that I might be able to lift my own mood, at least some of the time, had been so encouraging for me. I hope it is for you too.

Anonymous said...

A month? Yikes. If you'll let us, there's a bunch of us who'd like to help with the cost -- if only to give you a whopping good birthday present to make up for the kind you got.

And I'm thrilled to hear that heavy lifting worked for you. It works almost a third of the time for me (after decades of practice).