Friday, July 11, 2014

Mountains, Molehiles and Me


It was like my wheelchair blew a tire. Which is, of course, impossible because my manual chair has rims that run on a solid rubber ring. But ... it sounded like I blew a tire. I was riding on a bus, going to work, trying to figure out what had happened to my chair.

I went through an inventory:

My seating hasn't changed.

The chair seems secure.

No parts seemed to have snapped or broken.


Oh my gosh. What's wrong?? The first bang might have been something that I'd mistakenly attributed to the chair but now, the crack, I heard and felt a change in the chair.

Then I went through my ride:

We were picking up lots of people, so there were lots of twists and turns.

But that happens often.

There had been no sharp stops or starts.

Then I remembered, that while daydreaming the bus took a large arc in an empty parking lot and my chair tipped a bit to the right. Normally I hold on to brace myself for turns but I hadn't been paying attention. I knew that my entire weight had been transferred onto one wheel. That must have been when it happened.

But what happ ...


I scanned as best as I could, being strapped in and all, to see what damage had been done to the wheel.

Convinced now that both serious damage had been done AND that I wouldn't know what it was until arrival I sit and did what I could. Something that would really help.

I worried.

I catastrophized.

I worried more.

The catastrophies got bigger.

That done, it was time to punish the culprit (me) cause that helps to, of course.

I should have paid attention.

I shouldn't let go of the handrail when I'm riding.

I should know better I have been using the service for years.

The language of these recriminations grew a darker blue.

Finally we arrived. I got up to check the chair and the driver noticed that the rubber had slipped off the rim of my wheel. In a second it was back on, I was back in, and at work.


Worry and self blame, what productive things we do to solve problems - sheeeit, when I'm I gonna learn?


Susan said...

Hahaha - this story is more like me than I am. :)

Maggie said...

I can totally relate. And, at 67, I'm finding that I can shift some of this, some of the time, and make my inner experience at least a little less toxic. I hope this story brings you a laugh:

Sometimes when I'm alone I find myself speaking out loud (and, mercifully, I don't hear the full text of that Infernal Inner Critic voice). My 'current self out loud' side of the conversation goes like this.

"I hear that you're upset. You would like that thing not to have happened. Could you stop yelling at me now?"

and a moment later

"I realize you have a habit of yelling at me when things go wrong. Do you think yelling at me will make me better able to find a solution?

"I know you would like it to be different. But that happened. It's not being helpful for you to tell me I'm incompetent. If you want me to solve the problem, you need to stop telling me it's impossible.

"You might consider that I function better when you remind me of all the things I've done right today."

Once in awhile I actually reach the place where that inner voice becomes gentler.

One of my wise teachers suggests that I give that voice a different job, and nowadays a lot of the time it is my Supportive Inner Reminder.

Instead of "you !@$ idiot, you forgot your gloves" -- preferably after I've left the building and it would take 10 minutes to go get them -- most of the time I now get "gloves?" just as I put my hand on the doorknob.

May it be so with you. And may you have plenty of love, light and laughter along the way.

Anonymous said...

Aw, I'm sorry you had such a stressful time! That's no fun. I'm glad the problem seems to be fixed.

-- Littlewolf

Anonymous said...

You might check your tires for wear. I've had trouble with the rubber slipping off the rims when the rubber is getting worn. Thinner rubber stretches more, and takes less to get out of place (but also easier to put back). It could mean the rubber is due to be replaced before long.
At least you were in a place where you had help. I've had the rubber go off track when I had to deal with it myself, and didn't have a safe place to sit while I worked on it. I tell myself to carry tools, but seldom do.

clairesmum said...

amazing how that inner critic is so effective at hijacking the rest of the self....have had good experiences with EMDR and other reprocessing techniques to weaken that automatic response enough so I can effectively challenge it...and then I can choose how to respond...otherwise i kept getting stuck into another shame cycle of "shaming and blaming" myself for being human.

Rickismom said...

Oh, that inner self critic! I SSOO often tell women in my diet group that "no one loses a lot of weight without ever slipping." It takes time before people can internalize the important message that when we slip up, we just have to pause, note, and learn from it... not to let that self-critical BEASTIE go berserk.....

Rickismom said...

Hope you are OK... not like you not to post for so long.....

Glee said...

Yes I hope you're all right too Dave! This is so not like you :( Am a bit worried.