Recently, in this blog, I've been exploring the reality of the extent of the damage/injury I sustained during the severely stressful situation in 2011. Of the on-going challenges I cope with on a daily basis. How there are no instructions to follow to navigate through the physical morass I find myself saddled with. How I wish there was an emotional GPS to guide me through this. At the next intersection, turn right. Etc. But then would I learn anything? Or would the GPS to emotional health become a crutch? An enabler?
And so, this week, I was faced with a challenge. One I could accept. Or deny. The choice was mine. What decision was I going to make? Was I up to this challenge?
The challenge? Driving to Niagara Falls, NY to see a good friend (and encourager during this rough time) whom I hadn't seen in approximately 25 years. Someone who knows me well. Someone who's seen me when I was angry, unloveable, and was still willing to come alongside me.
The problem? Niagara Falls, while a good deal closer than northern California, where Pastor Karl and his wife now live, was still a far drive from the "Golden Triangle" where I live. About 1 1/2 to 2 hours using expressways. More using back roads. Expressways are still beyond me.
To complicate matters, Pastor Karl was only going to be in the area for three days. Three weekdays - which meant that Papa Bear could not accompany me - unless he took time off work.
I enquired of several encouragers who have gone the extra mile in the past. None were able to come with me this time.
Social isolation is part and parcel of the road I travel. My outside network is limited. Especially when asking someone to give up an entire day.
In my present state of constantly fluctuating disabilities/altered abilities, I figured that I could probably make it there on my own. But could I make it back? What if I started out and then was unable to make it home? What if I got too tired to drive home? Too foggy in the mind? Not alert enough? What if? What if?
What should I do. Should I try? Or should I stay home in my safe den?
I had decided no. I would pass. Stay in the safety zone. Not push the envelope. And then Pastor Karl arrived in Buffalo and called me. Something in me said "make one more effort to try to find someone." Just one more effort. If you don't, you may well be passing up a once in a lifetime chance to see Pastor Karl in the flesh up close and personal. The opportunity may never happen again.
Who could I ask? I put my thinking cap on. (Helps to have a thinking cap!) Running mentally through my limited inventory of friends and (mostly) family, my sister-in-love's name popped out. Another encourager at times during this journey. She wasn't able to come BUT she offered the assistance of her daughter who has her learner's permit. In Canada we have the graduated licensing system, which means in practical terms for this trip that "A" could not drive on limited access highways. However, since I'm not up to driving those roads - yet - and would have had to drive the back way anyway, I jumped at the offer.
During the last hour while working on this blog, I have become very tired. Too tired to continue writing. To continue thinking. Mentally still buoyed up by yesterday's trip. Physically, needing to crash. Therefore, I will finish today's blog, not with words, but with pictures.
Thank you for accompanying me on my journey through recovery.