Outside

One of the things that keeps getting suggested to me in therapy is to go outside. Traditionally, I hate going outside. It’s hot. There are bugs. There are people. There’s no Internet. I have noticed, however, that sitting on the front stoop for 20-30 minutes in the evenings has not been terrible. I put a folding chair out, I set the Echo to play loud music so I can hear it through the window, and sit out there and watch the world for a bit. Originally, I confess, I was sitting out there to smoke and then staying out there for a little while to let some of the smoke-smell get off of me before I came back inside. Even then, though, it was time I wasn’t sitting inside and noticing that she wasn’t inside with me.

This morning, I decided to go for a walk. I just planned on walking down to the end of the road and back, which is roughly a mile. I ended up walking down there and back, then over to the ball park and doing a lap there, and then back down the street again. On the way back up my street, I got hit by a car. I’m okay. Nothing’s broken, but I think there’s going to be a pretty large bruise on my hip tomorrow and I might limp for a few days, but I’m okay. They were just backing out of their driveway and their reverse lights didn’t come on, so I didn’t notice them moving until it was too late. They were very upset and apologetic, offered to drive me to the emergency room, and gave me all their info, just in case, but they calmed down once they saw I was laughing.

My initial thought, after I hit the pavement, was that this is what I get for veering out of my lane. I left my comfort zone, and paid the price for it. Why didn’t I see them backing up sooner? Was I a moron with no situational awareness? And then, I stopped myself. I started naming off authors in alphabetical order: Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Phillip K. Dick… and then I started laughing because they were all sci-fi authors. (Good thing I started laughing, too, because I can’t think of a sci0fi author starting with E) The point, though, was that I stopped that voice in my head. It was just an accident. They didn’t notice me. I didn’t notice them. Even if I was actually hurt, I was still alive and I would heal. It’s probably the first positive thing I’ve told myself (that I believed) in over a month.

I think I’ll try it again, once I’m not limping around anyway. I’m also going to take it as a sign that maybe I should start reaching out to friends to meet up or something. I dread that first eye contact, and the inevitable crying that they’re going to witness, but I also think that’s a step I need to take.

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