Left Behind and Left Out
Making choices about how to socialize is a necessary part of living with a disability
Sometimes I can. Sometimes I can’t. When it comes to social invitations, I must calculate if the level of effort is worth the expected payout. I suppose this is true for everyone, but it is more marked when you have a disability.
I imagine sometimes I’m not invited when friends think of the challenges I might face to participate. I once was regularly invited to friend’s place at the beach, but haven’t been since a particularly strenuous experience just a year after I had the stroke. This sucks. I don’t know for a fact that this is why I don’t get invited; I also don’t invite myself because I know the limitations would be too challenging.
I recently got invited via a group Facebook chat to travel into New York City for tours of galleries and dinner with some women I was involved with during my son’s years in middle school. This also sucks. It sucks because it sounds lovely, but the amount of effort required of me to go would make it more unpleasant than not. I am unable to walk normally. My awkward, slow gait would make it impossible to walk with a group of people. Public transport into the city wouldn’t work for me, and driving would be too stressful.
So, I opted out this time. It was nice to be included in the invite, but I have become expert at calculating the effort level vs. the reward over 20 years of having a disability. I feel crappy about having to miss this, but sometimes I can go and for that I am grateful.
Thank you for reading :)