I was still feeling pretty low when I got up this morning. I had a night full of nonsense dreams. Then I got round to doing something I meant to do a few days ago and now I’ve gone all mushy.
I belong to a support group for people with my condition. I don’t get a great deal out of it to be honest, but I like to keep my finger on the pulse. The one scheme I am involved with is the “Buddy Scheme” whereby people who are able have a one-way pen-friend correspondences with those who are severely affected and unable to write. I did this in my late teens with a girl who has become good friends with me and I wanted to do it again.
Somehow I wound up with two “Buddies” by accident. One sends me short letters every now and then, but another I have been writing to since around Easter time without having heard a thing. It is quite difficult to write to someone, virtually every week, who you know nearly nothing about. You wonder whether your letters are even being read and if they are, whether you might have been paired with someone who really doesn’t like what you’ve got to say.
Then this week I got a tape in the post and this morning I got round to listening to it.
My friend Amelia recorded this tape one sentence at a time and there’s only about four or five minutes worth. She describes how, when I first started writing she was in a very bad way. After four weeks in hospital she came home and was stuck in a darkened room, having to wear earplugs all the time, unable to speak or anything. So, she says, feeling like she was making a friend at this time meant a great deal to her.
Now she’s doing better, as she can actually speak. This week she managed to stand up for the first time and felt seven foot tall. She says that I shouldn’t worry about how long the book takes me.
I hate to say this about a fellow disabled person, but by God; the lady is an inspiration! And it’s especially humbling since throughout most of the tape she’s thanking me for everything I have done. What did I do? I ramble on in letters to her as I ramble on everywhere else. Still, I don’t feel so useless this morning, except for the fact that earlier I was feeling really crap about my life when really it’s not nearly so bad as it might be.