Selling My Independence
This week was a big milestone in my journey of acceptance. I am actually quite surprised that I did it and finally let go of something I had been holding on to so tightly.
Probably slightly melodramatic, but I sold my independence this week, my beloved car. I had bought my car brand new almost five years ago to the day. After driving around in hand me down cars (including a red, seven-seater Mercedes Benz station wagon from before I was born), I had finally splurged on a shiny, fresh new car. I was very attached to my car, it had travelled with me through so many life events and it was like my solace where I could feel calm and even have a cry. Ok it does sound like I was in a relationship with my car but since I’d driven for 10 years I had really gotten used to having it.
I should have stopped driving a few years ago although I didn’t stop (and I in no way recommend doing this). I continued to drive locally to and from work. As my sight deteriorated I realised I had to let go, I had to give it up. In March this year I made the decision that I was going to let go, I wasn’t going to drive again and I was going to literally start from the bottom and learn to be independent in a new way. This caused me great anxiety and stress and by no means has it been easy or am I close to being entirely independent. I grew to rely on driving, I never caught public transport, so I’m literally learning how to do everything again with poor vision.
I tried to find a reason to keep my car – someone in my family would drive it, I could give it to my brother, we could have a spare car, but deep down I knew it was pointless. I put it up for sale a month ago, grudgingly.
As the weeks past I still tried to find reasons to keep it and more people came to look at it. Once I found a buyer, the few days before they picked the car up I started to think to myself I should just keep it and I didn’t want to give it up. The morning they came to pick it up, I paced around the yard and my anxiety levels grew. I knew I had to do it and I knew that once I did I would feel stronger.
It was actually easier than I thought (possibly helped my a massive envelope of cash). It was even empowering. I was proud of myself. I had let go. I had let go of something I had been holding onto for many years. I knew I could do it, that I could face this new chapter.
And here I am. Car-less, less independent perhaps but with a greater level of determination. Of the years I have been battling Stargardt’s, this week definitely was a big step for me. Onwards and upwards!