I have to admit, I have been rather depressed lately. Not because life is tough, not because I am short on cash or I am lonely. No, I have been depressed because I have been feeling like everyone around me are hollow shells of people looking for things from me to fill their empty spaces; they want to receive but not give. I moved to Colorado with an idea, and image, a dream of a life I could build when so many have told me I could not do such things with Multiple Sclerosis. I aimed to prove them wrong and I felt like I was on a good path to success. Then it hit me, a stark reality, I am alone out here; I feel as though I am on a row boat in the middle of the ocean known as life with no paddles watching everyone speed around me in their speed boats. I ask for help but I can’t even seem to get a flotation device thrown my way.
So what set this train of thought off in my head? Well, a few thing but let’s talk about one in particular as it will lead me to explain the title of this article. Upon moving to Colorado I eventually bought the truck I have wanted since I was in high school; a mid 90’s Toyota 4runner with 4-wheel drive and a 6-cylinder engine. It was the perfect vehicle for camping, loading stuff up, and driving off the asphalt down a dirt road without damaging my frame; plus I just liked the look of a mid 90’s Toyota truck. My new truck needed some work but it ran great. I put a lot of labor just into cleaning it up and tweaking things here and there. I replaced the radiator among a few other things. I loved this truck. Then it happened.
I started noticing a phenomenal loss in power one day but I still got to work and back. The next day, the same thing, no power, only I didn’t even make it to work. The engine died on me, I pulled over, and it would not start. After a stressful day towing my truck with the help of my friend’s Jeep and a tow strap we got it from the road to his house. Took me another 24 hours but I got it towed to the shop that that same friend works in. After a long day of waiting for an answer I got some bad news; it needs a new engine. I’ll spare you the details but they are not good. I was so stressed. No vehicle? How would I get to work? The doctors? No work means no money which means I cant pay my bills, can’t pay my rent, I would get kicked out and have to find my way back to California and the heat which meant that my health would suffer because heat plus stress equals horrible symptom flare ups. All I was thinking of, all I could think of, the negative; the worst-case scenario.
This is where I explain the title; someone from work, the kindest lady, she knew what was going on and she wanted to help. She offered me a ride from the car rental place (after I returned the car) to the shop to pick up my car since I have no one else to help me with that. She picked me up and we stopped at work where everyone was urging me to talk to HR about this emergency fund thing they do to help employees in a time of need by giving them $500. I said I want to find out what is going on and come up with a plan before I get that ball rolling. Then she wanted to get me breakfast; we talked, ate, and talked some more on the way to the shop. She mentioned trying to see if her husband would lend me his car until I get situated! Wow! I told her that regardless of whether or not that actually happens the simple fact that she was even willing to ask about it meant so much to me! She is from abroad and I told her I am not used to such acts of kindness, as there are not many people willing to go that far here in the states. I kept offering ways to pay her back, to help her, etc. but she kept shaking it of saying it’s no big deal; she just wanted to help. “Pay it forward”.
There are Good People in this World
She knows a bit of what I have been through and I think she legitimately just wants to help and for that I will break my back for her. I feel much better after today; I feel like I have a plan set up (with a few different options actually because it’s always good to have a plan A, B, and C at the least). I have complained about my job but after all this? I can’t leave. Everyone has been so understanding and willing to help. I am sure that they would do the same even if it was not for my MS being a factor but more than likely knowing that I am in this state alone (basically) and I have a medical condition probably makes them want to help even more. I am so grateful!
I no longer feel like I am surrounded by the shallow, hollow shells of people that I mentioned earlier. It feels good and for once I kind of look forward to working tomorrow.
After everything I have been through with MS, I have learned to shed any sense of entitlement. I am truly fortunate and the acts of kindness I have experienced in the last few days are truly humbling. I think this is a good lesson for all of us struggling; we take so much for granted and being able to see that puts a spin on the initial negative views we can encounter in a situation like this. Yeah this all sucks and it’s stressful but is it really that bad? Two years ago I could barely open and shut my hand, I was in a wheelchair, I had to have someone help me get to the bathroom and onto the toilet, I needed help showering and eating. I lost so much and look how much I have now? Sure my car broke down but I have a job, an apartment, I can express my thoughts through blogging, sit on the porch and drink coffee while watching the snow, drive, walk, feed the squirrels, feel the cool winter air on my skin, cook, hold a pen, and oh yeah, I can get to the toilet on my own (haha). So tonight, when I am in the shower, I will remember how much I wanted to take a shower on my own in physical rehab; the door closed and as long as I want so I could focus on the feeling of each drop of water hitting my skin rather than focusing on when someone would barge in and ask if I was ok. Car problems? This is nothing. I have been through worse and I obviously made it through so if I can make it through that than I can make it through this.
“Are you OK in there?”
Well, I was then and I will be now, that much I know.