In the past weeks, three friends managed to turn my attitude around.
I'm not sure how to explain it all, except to just tell it as it is and was.
Over the last three years I've gone from a working stiff to a housebound cripple. While the physical effects are obvious, the psych effects aren't. Aside from the expected- depression, anger, etc. that come with grieving anything, come societal judgments. This extends to family & friends. Nobody likes a gimp. You're suspect, first and foremost. You're lazy, not trying, living off the government, making it up, making it worse than it is, being a Drama Queen, a slacker, a crybaby, (add your own here, you know you have the labels). It's what we, as US society, do. We aren't kind. We're soaked in the "work ethic" all our lives. And I'm ashamed to say, I was once like that. Perhaps it's one of those things you can't know until you experience it, like "seeing thestrals". There are things in life that you cannot fully understand until it's personal- death, being in love, having a child, being poor, tolerating abuse... so many things. One's experiences not only shape, but isolate us.
Disability is one of those things.
In the last week an old friendship has rekindled and set me going on a new focus in spirituality. And two other old friends treated me to nourishments of body and normalcy. One made dinner for me, one took me to the movies. May not seem a lot to others, but inestimable to me. To be treated as valuable again does wonders. Over dinner I told my tale and wasn't criticized, just accepted. And the movie upheld a tradition and gave sweet escape from my four walls. Given entirely without ulterior motives, with necessary and willing physical help, they gave me an oh so needed boost in spirits. A wonderful happy surprise, I guess. Isn't a happy surprise something you didn't know you wanted til you got it? Its effect is doubled when it comes from unexpected sources.
So, while the physical condition isn't better, the wellbeing condition is vastly improved. Now I have to get over the labels I've put on others- cold-hearted, hard, uncaring, selfish, ignorant, etc. It may simply be the thestral effect and nothing more. In any event, unlabeling is a good way to start paying some needed kindnesses forward. Kindness breeds kindness, forgiveness breeds forgiveness. It's gotta start somewhere. Might as well start here.
And thanks, Bruce, Ellen and Stevil. Ya gotta have friends.
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