A step at a time


I hate being slow. Slow means that there are other things I’m not doing because I’m taking so long over something else. It means incompetent; lesser than.

For all the years I’ve had depression (diagnosed for nine – but more than that) I’ve gotten on with work apace. I’ve got lots done, I was ahead of my career-stage, on top of things, competent. Even when things were bad, I could still escape to my work.

But now I have slowed. I can’t escape into work. Work is a source of emotional rubbish – there are too many echoes of my past (and present) around it. My progress has snailed along, step-by-step, day-by-day. Very little has been achieved all summer. People say that this is OK, because I am unwell. I do not believe them.

This hate of being slow comes, I think, from being slower physically as a child – always last of my peers, often left behind. I could do things, but they used to take much longer to do with one hand. At home, because I took too long, everything was done for me, even though I could to it. Being slow was bad.

Me, just walking -  August 1985

Me, just starting to walk –
August 1985

I am super time-conscious. I hate the thought that anyone is waiting for me, getting impatient with me. So I do things as quickly as I can. My driving instructor picked up on this. When I was learning how to do a three-point turn in the road, and a car approached, waiting to come through, I wanted to give up – but he very firmly told me that even if it was the Queen waiting with the Pope on his pope-mobil, it was my right of way, and I was going to complete the manoeuvre. So tough.

And now, I have to slow physically as well. I have an ankle-foot  orthosis, that is correcting my gait, stopping me from walking so fast; I am quite literally taking a step at a time. If I try to move faster, my leg locks, and I unbalance and trip. A corridor is taking minutes rather than seconds. I am having to learn to walk again. Undo twenty-nine years of walking unhelpfully. In the long run (ha!) this will be a good thing. But I want to go faster, faster, faster.

Yet, I am being told, in no uncertain terms, to slow down. God is telling me to slow down. I hear the message, but I can’t accept that being slow is OK. So I am resisting. The resistance is causing pain, emotionally and physically, and you’d think I would have learnt by now that God’s way is the best way. But I’m just not quick enough for that.

This entry was posted in disability, mental health, trust, work. Bookmark the permalink.

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