I asked her why she had told me to keep going. Because I’d said I wanted to move my walking to the dining room, she answered, and she wanted me to feel confident about taking that step.
The Sunday before, I had mentioned that I wanted to go back to walking from the dining room to the kitchen and back, as I’d been doing every Sunday before the side effects of the Fycompa started (I write about it in a previous chapter). But she’d said she thought I wasn’t ready yet. And she was right: no sooner had she finished her sentence than I’d realized I was still scared. What if I lost my balance? It had been a long time since I’d last walked with the crutch without the sense of safety I experienced thanks to the boundaries of the rail. Yet this time, a week later, I’d crossed the threshold of the rail and kept walking with the crutch without anybody’s help, and nothing had happened: I hadn’t fallen. I felt so happy. It was progress! A tiny progress, but progress no less.
This improvement seemed small but was actually huge. By crossing the threshold of the rail, I had crossed a boundary – the boundary of my fears. And I had crossed another boundary: the boundary of self-criticism and high standards. According to my standards, the progress I’d made was inconsequential, but I was able to feel happy to have made it. My happiness meant that I could pay less attention to quantity and more to quality. It meant that I had crossed a barrier and would start walking forward.