Update and a poem – A Wheelchair Called Wilmer

I have just returned from a trip to Ireland; it has taken me over a year to do it.
Until now I simply haven’t had the emotional strength to accomplish it, as the
only way it was possible was with the aid of a wheelchair.
As I “grow into” managing chronic illness, I am re-learning the process of
acceptance with all its complexities. The biggest thing I have learned so far
is to have compassion for myself. The numerous hurdles will be cleared
when it is their time; I have ceased berating myself for taking “too long” to
accomplish the next thing. One of these next things is to actually own a
wheelchair rather than hire one. This may or may not happen soon.
I just need to keep chipping away at my part of the process.

The following poem was written in Ireland after my first long wheelchair “trek”.

A Wheelchair Called Wilmer

It was definitely on its last wheels,
heavily weighed down with ghost scars,
years of invisible struggles piled,
precarious, on an old sagging seat.
If I hadn’t been so heavily reliant,
I would have jumped off and
helped it into the lift.

Then a waitress on the ferry
knocked it as she passed.
It quivered like a frightened dog
and I felt sad.
A strange feeling of empathy
washed over me and I reached out
and touched it, gave it a name.
I told her not to fret and said
this time she could travel light.
There would be no scars left by me;
this was going to be a good trip.


Not Resolutions

More reading,
less face-booking,
an addictive pastime;
one hour is too much,
ten are not enough.

Face to face contact,
(I miss that),
except with doctors
who can provide no answers,
hand me an invite to the
next party in six months;
I know they do their best.

Exercise; this will involve
the bottom stair and me in
a few casual calf stretches,
unless the cat happens to
be resting there, then I will
leave it until tomorrow.

I will be kinder to myself,
let my dog make better use
of the stick I often hold to
beat myself up;
practice self-compassion,
maybe a little Mudita,
wandering in and out of my
Buddhist inspired lifestyle
depending upon current
level of acceptance.

These are not resolutions;
I’ve tried before and
they don’t work.
These are goals or aims,
a less challenging image,
one of sauntering sideways
rather than forward,
but a shift nonetheless
and better than standing still.

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