By far, one of the most frustrating parts of this entire ordeal is being around people who don’t anticipate your physical needs. As annoying as it is, though, you’ve got to let them know. And of course, they always have the right to refuse to accommodate you — but it’s not going to feel very good.
The problem becomes greater, ironically, the further along in your progress you get. I remember back when I was still using a wheelchair or a cane, and people were very forthcoming in offering me help. I greatly appreciated their gestures and by no means want to reduce them as I talk about the experience. However, the majority of disabilities are invisible (so I was told at the Division of Rehabilitation Student Educational Services at my university), and sometimes those in need of help don’t so obviously need it.
The more you recover, and I experience this almost on a daily basis, the less people will remember to offer you a hand. If I’m being cynical, it can probably also be easy for them to think you’re exaggerating your condition because it doesn’t appear as though you need the assistance. But to be fair, the percentage of people who will react this way is rather low — most people are fundamentally sensitive enough to help you with no qualms whatsoever; they just sometimes need a little reminder.
But regarding that very small population of people whose capacity for empathy is extraordinarily low: If after explaining your needs many times and they still ignore you, you’re better off without them. Don’t take it personally if they either seem to disappear eventually, because your being around inconveniences them too much. Think of whether you need their truth, that your existence is too much trouble to be around. And remember your own truth, that it’s exhausting to also feel so perpetually guilty being around that person.
In this case, the relationship has become toxic and you’ll be much more at peace seeking friendship elsewhere. Keep your inner circle simple, limited to those great enough in heart to include and love you anyway despite such a silly thing as whether you can run or not.
To our healing,
PS. I’m leaving for Yellowstone National Park on Saturday morning, so I’ll be absent for a week. I will, however, be jotting down future posts as they come to me while I’m gone, so there will be an abundance of posts as soon as I’m back!
In the meantime, don’t hesitate to leave me any comments to this or any previous post. 🙂