I felt hounded – I had to leave the bed and reach a safe place. I didn’t know where I could find it, but I was certain that I had to leave my bed and the room. The Rehab Center was equipped with hospital beds. Each bed had guardrails and an alarm. If patients wanted to escape, they would touch the guardrail and set off the alarm. Fear compelled me to lift my functioning right leg over the guardrail and step with my right foot on the floor. I would pick my limp left leg with my right hand and lift it to follow my right, and would keep limping. I don’t quite remember how: the only image that has remained in my mind is that of me holding my left leg and stepping with my two feet, the good one first, the bad one second, limping all the way. And I wonder how I could do that. How could I keep my balance? Why didn’t I fall?
Five years have passed since I was discharged, and the blood in my brain has been gradually reabsorbed. Little by little, I’ve regained my ability to think and reason. But my left leg and glute are still weak. I can’t balance, so I can’t walk without a means of support. Before it was the crutch. Now it’s a walker. And whatever the means of support, I’m always afraid of losing my balance and falling until I get used to it. But I didn’t have that fear at Rehab Center. And I didn’t fall.
I’ve come with a tentative answer for my questions: I could walk without fear, and I didn’t fall regardless, because I couldn’t think due to my confusion. I still remember what my dance teacher used to tell me when I couldn’t master some dance step: “Don’t think!” Now my ability to think has been restored, but it has brought back irrational, uncontrollable fear with it. Just as the irrational sense of threat at the Rehab Center compelled me to flee, so does irrational fear stop me to walk. But just as I could walk confidently then, I have to do it now: I have to vanquish my fear.