My independence

I felt scared long before any of my friends or family. The news said it was mainly old and sick people that were dying and the people around me said ah that’s ok then. And I had to point out that I was one of those ‘sick’ people and that we have parents who are very old. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so vulnerable. And then lockdown finally arrived. My husband and I were ‘sheilding’. We both have existing medical conditions that make us extremely vulnerable. The first 3 weeks was a frenzy of organising groceries. We had to ask friends and family to take risks to get us what we needed. We depended on them for everything outside the home. They were great. They’ve continued to be great. But it’s been hard learning how to ask. And it’s harder to ask for chocolate than for bread and milk. Harder to ask for luxuries than necessities, yet suddenly I’ll want a treat and I can’t stop thinking about it, but I can’t go and get it, so I think about it more, and then I have to ask. And then I have to be grateful. I didn’t know how exhausting dependence is. It’s funny though because actually I need this kind of help most of the time, regardless of pandemics, and I never ask, because I don’t like being dependent , being a burden. Being disabled is emotionally draining, not (just) because if the impairment but because everything involves managing feelings.


Location: Yorkshire, England

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