Cabin Fever

I have a beautiful house.  I’m spoilt.  I know.  And I am appreciative.  Promise.

It’s not perfect.  The only thing it really lacks is a view – and someone special – but that’s a story for another day.  Otherwise, the house itself is ideal.  Really, it is.

I am privileged to live in one of the most stunning places on the planet.  I am surrounded by beauty – if you drive up the road.  But, unfortunately none of it is visible from anywhere on my property.  That is something I truly miss – and often wish for.  I have a deep-seated desire to lose myself in a panoramic scene of the mountains or the bush – even overlooking the city – anything – to escape the harsh reality of my daily life.

Sometimes I wish that I could wave a magic wand, lift my house and put it down on a classy, security estate, in town, built on a sprawling nature reserve.  It would be pure heaven – safe, scenic, indigenous gardens, wildlife and like-minded, caring neighbours.  I could take my Suzuki out for a walk as often as I liked.  I could go and see people – on my own.  My son could ride his bike and get to his friends without inconveniencing anybody else.  What a life!  Dream on… Tracy.  Hmmm I seem to make a habit of wishing for things I cannot have.  Why do I always want more?  I have to learn to be more grateful.

Instead, I sit here behind my high walls, electric gates, burglar bars and iron security gates – feeling so confined – and alone – wondering if some of my neighbours even know that I exist.

Anyway.  At least, I have a house.

Like most homes, my house also needs work.  A lot.  Bathrooms need tiling.  Walls need painting and some plastering – where my son has practiced his cricket shots in the mirror and accidently smashed his bat into the wall.  If I didn’t witness these incidents with my own eyes I would have some concerns about the sanity of the inhabitants of this dwelling.  There are some seriously big chunks of concrete missing.  No lies.  Don’t ask about the cricket bat.   Paving needs to be realigned as some of my little plants have now grown into massive trees with roots-that-seem-to-have-minds-of-their-own and lifted my driveway into a 4×4 track for my wheelchair.  I reckon those roots could give my 13-year-old some good competition when it comes to being strong-willed.  Things need fixing and of course, the rooms need redecorating.  What can I say?  I’m a woman.  I love beautiful things.  And life gets really boring looking at the same things all day you know.

I guess that I spend way too much time sitting at home noticing all these things that need fixing and changing.  Home improvements and maintenance seem to be a never-ending job and an endless cash-consuming-blackhole . 

I think I need a permanent handyman.  Hmmm… and it wouldn’t do any harm if he were tall, strong and drop-dead-gorgeous, with sexy legs.  He should make my knees weak so that I never ever want to stand again.  There would be more than enough for him to do.  I mean, I do need my rusty plumbing and shoddy electrical works upgraded from time to time too you know.  I could get him to  swing me from fix the chandeliers.  Oh yes, sorry, I forgot, I don’t have any chandeliers.  That’s another reason I need to move to an estate.  I need chandeliers!  And, you know, eye-candy is really important when there is a lot of stroking, lifting, twisting, banging and screwing going on around the place.  Isn’t it?  Oh my God!  My ears!

Lately I have been suffering from a severe bout of cabin fever.  Oh okay, I’ll admit the truth.  I’ve been feeling sorry for myself.  Very.

By nature I am extremely social.  I love interacting with other humans.  I have a real need to reconnect with the world out there and those other able-bodied creatures called people – even though they behave really strangely towards me sometimes and tend to treat me like an alien.  I’m not a recluse and I don’t like living like a hermit.

I’ve been feeling so confined – not only by my paralysis but by my circumstances.  I feel so frustrated.  If the walls of my house could talk…

I long to get into the car all by myself and go for a drive – to look at God’s beautiful creation in awe; to see man’s artificial fuck-ups and roll-my-eyes-in-disgust; to visit a friend and share a laugh over a glass of wine or merely go to the shop to buy bread and milk – and, of course, to get the biggest slab of chocolate I could possibly lay my hands on and devour it in peace.

I long for my life to be simple – and easy – less complicated – less of a mission for me, my family and my friends.  I will always strive to be more independent – to be less of a burden.  I long for…

 I think I need that handyman.  Now.

Do you ever get cabin fever?  How do you deal with it?


About Tracy Todd (Brave Lotus Flower)

Author of Brave Lotus Flower Rides the Dragon – an intimate and inspiring memoir of a quadriplegic. Inspirational Speaker. Teacher. Counsellor. Wife. Mother. Animal lover. Although I need a wheelchair to get around, it is most certainly not what defines me.
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18 Responses to Cabin Fever

  1. Bill Watson says:

    My cabin fever is nearly ended with the daffodils blooming. It is seasonal with me. Perhaps if I were stuck in one place it would not be seasonal -then I would long for sunshine and flowers and new leaves on the trees.

  2. Bren Lombard says:

    You’ve know the answer.
    “I think I need a permanent handyman. Hmmm… and it wouldn’t do any harm if he were tall, strong and drop-dead-gorgeous, with sexy legs. He should make my knees weak so that I never ever want to stand again.”
    So find the handyman.
    In the meantime… chocolate, a very big slab of chocolate… and coffee!!!

  3. Helen Methley says:

    Tracy, your writings are very thought provoking; especially as I know that your body is wheelchair bound; but the amazing thing is that your mind soars like the wings of a dove. You are able to make those of us who are not confined in any way soar into the land of make believe with you.

    Thank you Tracy
    /█\ ♥
    -|| ♥

  4. Mareca says:

    I had cabin fever over the weekend – the Southeaster was howling most of the weekend here in Cape Town. It is as if you can’t escape it, waiting for you around every little corner -I just don’t like the wind – especially in summer. Hope you find something fabulous to read or do to take your mind off the cabin fever. Thank you once again for sharing.

  5. SirNoid says:

    We (Wenchy and me) are in the process of trying to sort out a house which has become complicated and the one we might get/move into needs lots of work too.

    I wish you a handyman to swing you from the chandeliers until your knees get weak.

  6. Pingback: A Feast of Trials | Tracy Todd's Blog

  7. Frankly, living in the over-crowded Los Angeles metro area eventually made me feel trapped enough to do whatever was necessary to get out. And, as you know, in my case choosing to buy less house allowed us to afford more view, which we needed for all the same psychological reasons you’ve written about. I don’t know your specific financial constraints, Tracy, but I do expect that if you and Roy continue to grow closer then one or both of you will be changing addresses.

    I also think the desire to get out also represents the desire to get out of our old selves, and into whatever kind of spiritual, emotional and artistic rebirth awaits us. You may be building up tension in order to bust out of the cocoon and unfurl those new wings. I can’t wait to see them!

    • Tracy Todd says:

      Mikey — I will never forget the words in your first e-mail to me. Yes, I’ll be busting out. Can’t wait. And I’ll definitely be sharing my experiences here for you to savour. 🙂

  8. Raulston says:

    Good Day Tracy,

    I must candidly assert that you have one of the most boisterous and thought provoking styles of writing I have ever had the pleasure to experience. I hope that you continue your wonderful vibrant and jovial scribings. I admire the mere and unencumbered fact that you can keep current with postings and update your articles as often as you do. I find it rather arduous to do so even as a Gent of the University (with intermittent breaks between lectures). Just think of how dull and lifeless our existence would be without your supremely crafted digital masterpiece to draw strength, courage, and hope from; you may see it at times as confinement but the world is all the more better with you at the digital controls. Keep up the fabulous work and happy holidays.


    • Tracy Todd says:

      Thank you, Raulston. I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for making the effort to leave such a heartfelt comment. Happy holidays. 🙂

  9. Anton says:

    Getting out of your cabin, even if it needs a little bit of TLC, will be good for you. Have a lovely time, relax and enjoy being with Roy. You will come back refreshed and relaxed – then you can worry about the roots!

  10. Ina Bence says:

    When I get cabin fever, I do facebook, TV, radio (all together lots of low key noise), lots of coffee or tea, read paper, magazines. Then I dream, go to places, silver beaches, white sand, nature hide outs, cabin in the forest, of course with that out of reach person ……

  11. Cathy says:

    I go shopping! I may not buy anything but I’ll flit from store to store. Usually though, I have to buy something to cure the cabin fever.

  12. Anton says:

    I know the feeling Tracy, but I am fortunate enough to be able to escape my cabin. The fact that there is a hurricane blowing outside makes it a pain though. OK, maybe not a hurricane, but 45km/h is a hurricane in any Lowvelder’s eyes!

    Hang in there Tough Kid!

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