I moved away from my home when I was 19 and I have never really felt homesick until these last couple of weeks. I was in a scary car accident when I was crossing the road. I don’t remember too much after the car hit me and seeing the tire roll over my foot. I was in complete shock and it all felt like a dream, I was just waiting to wake up. All I remember is saying to the poor guy who came running from the other side of the road to help me
“No, but you don’t understand. I don’t have the time for this! I have so many plans for these next months. This can’t happen”. He tried to calm me down and called police and ambulance. I was taken to the emergency room to find out what I already feared, my foot was broken.
Everyone kept saying how lucky I was and that It could have been so much worse. I wasn’t grateful in the moment. I was pissed off at the driver for not paying attention, pissed off at myself for not leaving 5 minutes earlier and pissed off because I had so many exciting plans going on. Hearing my own thoughts embarrassed me. I cared more about my profession than myself. Was this life’s cruel way of teaching me a lesson?
I have always been told I need to relax more but I have never been good with that. I can watch ‘The Kardashians’ and ‘Real Housewives’. That’s the only thing that makes me zone out from all the things I feel I should be doing. I have to work hard and be strong. I’ve gone through a lot of shit in life like most people and it has made stronger. People have admired me for handling things so well and being strong, I’ve always said ‘I have no choice. It’s nothing I can do so why cry about it’.
But not this time. I cried a fucking river. Anyone who has stopped me and asked about what happened got the story with complementary sobbing and tears. I used to be so strong. I used to just dust myself off and get back up again. But this time I can’t get back up for another 6 weeks. At least not without the help of my crutches. Every time I tell the story of what happened I end up in tears and then I get angry and embarrassed because I don’t necessarily want sympathy. When strangers show compassion it opens a vault of un-cried tears and loneliness. A loneliness I managed to force myself to forget.
I am great with forgetting things I don’t want to remember. I know it’s not healthy but it has been my coping mechanism for years. But not this time. I can feel a shift, something is changing within me and it is because of strangers. Strangers I only encountered for a couple of minutes.
The uber driver that almost broke into tears when he realized I was by myself. The receptionist at the hospital who looked straight through me and knew I wasn’t okay even though I tried to reassure her I was. My neighbor who offered to speak with police and help me with my case. And the stranger that came running down the street when the accident happened to make sure I was okay even though he had to take his kid to school.
Those people had nothing to gain from being nice to me, from being open and showing compassion. I’ve spent so much energy on trying to stay strong that it broke me down. I know I have to get better at asking for help, admitting when something is wrong. I’ve just not been able to but maybe that is about to change.