What does independence look like to you? I would imagine every one of you has a different answer. But I would bet it all revolves around being able to support yourself and your lifestyle and yourself. I’m sure it involves everything from feeding yourself to personal care.
For me? It looks a little different. Yes, I want to be able to support myself as much as possible, but it’s also me being strong enough to realize that I need to rely on others. It’s being able to do what I can for myself without jeopardizing my health.
Do you think about planning out your showers? My guess is no. You don’t have to plan your shower around someone else’s ability to help you with the entire process of a shower. You probably don’t think twice about wiping your butt, but guess what? That too is planned in my life. Personal care isn’t so personal for me… but it’s still apart of my independence.
Most people have no trouble running an errand on their own— for me? It sends me into a huge anxious state. What if something happens? What if I fall? If a stranger tries to help me, they could hurt me more. I need to know that I have someone that knows what to do if something goes wrong. Having that security blanket is part of my independence.
Although I love being alone, it’s hard for me.. What if I fall? What if I need to reach something? What if I need help wiping my butt? The what if’s are endless.. Does it suck that I have to limit the times I’m alone? Yes. But guess what? It’s my reality and I’m just thankful for the independence I still have. And I will continue to grow that independence as much as I possibly can.. without harming myself or my health.
Thankfully, technology continues to allow me to grow my independence. My Apple Watch allows me to let someone know if I fall hard & don’t move afterwords. It also allows me to make calls from wherever I am. It allows me a security blanket of a human, without physically having a human with me at all times.
Does it suck? Abso-freaking-lutely. But guess what? I don’t have a choice. My choice is to make it apart of my definition of independence— which includes the daily tasks I need help with & all the times I can’t be alone. And I’ll continue to consider myself independent, as long as I have the freedom to plan my day, my way, with the help I need.