Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Price of Pride

I am a fiercely independent man, especially since I left my wife. When that happened, I promised myself I would never again subjugate myself in trade for some falsely perceived benefit, nor agree or conciliate when I differed in position or attitude. I committed to being me, all the time. It was time for me to say what I thought, regardless of outcome; to be who I was, regardless of response.

Of course this attitude has its downside. I have, more than once, said things which set off a firestorm. My refusal to give up a female friend let to the breakdown of my last relationship. My willingness to express my attitude has most certainly upset more than one person. Yet I have found that those who like me, really like me; and those who aren't sure become certain in a hurry. It saves time, something that I don't have a lot of.

Yesterday is a good example of the price I pay for maintaining freedom. I declared that I would not ask for help, at least for a while. Asking for help puts the person asking at the will of the person giving; it creates a dependent subjugation. These days my emotions are fragile enough that I just don't want that in my life. If you offer, I will accept. If there is no offer, then I will have to decide how I can do it myself, or if I need to do it at all.

Costco. I went yesterday. By myself. I took the bus there, shopped, and called a wheelchair cab for a ride home using my Access Calgary Extra card. That card subsidises cab rides up to $56 a month as long as I pay the meter charge of $3.60. Yesterday the ride was $21.90; I paid $3.60, which is essentially bus fare, something I pay with any Access Calgary ride.

Getting there was fairly easy, just one transfer. Shopping had its challenges with lifting heavy things onto my lap and negotiating the crowds in my power wheelchair. Checkout was a breeze; the checked me out at the service counter thanks to my wheelchair. Getting home simply meant waiting for the cab. Once I was home, however, the real work began.

First, it was getting the boxes of groceries up to my apartment. I managed it, barely, in one trip. It took some doing to balance two large boxes on my lap, holding them with my left arm as I drove with my right hand. I made it, thankfully, with no loss of contents. Unfortunately I missed one of the turns just a bit, tearing off my side pack in the process. It's another thing to fix; I need a sewing machine. I am fairly sure my HCA can help with this, or the ALS Society. It will happen.

Putting the groceries away was the real challenge. Having taken them down from the shelves or out of the bins at Costco, I now had to put them high up on shelves or into the freezer here at home. I didn't realize how much it exhausted me until I slept in today. I ended up with 16 hours of sleep!

I need to be aware of my "one thing per day" rule. Doing laundry is one thing. Folding and putting away is another. Going to Costco is one thing. Putting stuff away is another. The freezer stuff has to go away, but most of the rest could have waited until today when I had help from an HCA. I wore myself out, needlessly. Help was on the way, if I had bothered to wait.

Today I am doing laundry. I am committed to not folding it tonight. I know Kathy will do that tomorrow. In fact she would do the laundry too, if I asked. I just don't want to ask anymore. The price for that is this. Exhaustion. Everything has its price, even my pride and independence.

1 comment:

  1. I sister always spoke her mind.. and sometimes little bit to truthful. At least you're always knew where you stood with her. I always wished I was more like her. I have a habit of dancing around the truth so not to hurt anybody's feelings, or giving in for the same reason ...Always important to stand up for that is the truth to you