Random thoughts from the wilderness about isolation

As I sat down at the computer to read some blogs and other things I subscribe to, I saw a post from Ellen, at lovethatmax.com, about a conference held in the US to discuss improving access and integration for those with disabilities.  As this is an election year, both parties presented as well.  I am probably oversimplifying the whole thing.

This is talked about more in A world more welcoming to people with disabilities, describing the event above.

There was a young lady from Texas, who happens to be in a wheelchair, who was featured in this post.  In college, she was able to live in an accessible dorm, be fully independent.  When she finished school, she was forced to move back in with her parents, as she had difficulty finding accessible housing.  As a result, she lost a great deal of her independence.

In Smile at a special needs mom, Ellen wrote about something that happened while they were on vacation.  Her son, Max, has difficulty in loud places, and they went to eat early to make it easier for him.  Her husband and Max went to take a ride on the shuttle bus to help pass the time while they were waiting for their food.  It ended up taking a while for them to come back.  When they returned, Max did not do well.  It took some distraction with gadgets with video to help settle him what.  What made her day was a look of concern from a stranger.

A common thread I picked up on in both of these posts was isolation.

Isolation often impacts us as we move through life.

Sometimes we choose isolation for a season, or it is forced upon us.

There are some times when a few minutes of isolation is a great thing.  After a long day at work, a busy day of activity, and so on.

Self chosen isolation is usually easy to get past.  Not always, but usually.

Forced isolation is often much tougher.

Over time, circumstances, such as a move, job loss, sickness, or other life change, can force us into isolation.  Similar types of loss can create a new type of bond.  Other situations force longer periods of isolation, and make it tougher to reconnect.

Systemic isolation, as in the case of a disability, usually requires change beyond what the individual is capable of doing on their own.

Sometimes isolation is forced because of things that have happened.  As my friend Trudy has written about in her posts about spiritual abuse and sexual abuse , isolation is forced for various reasons.

At various points in life, due to circumstance, we become isolated.  Be on the look out for those around you who are possibly isolated and lonely, and offer a kind smile, a hello, or other gesture.  You don’t know how much that might brighten someone’s day.

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