I've started to tell people my good news: I passed my driving test in September.
"That's fantastic!" people say. "You must feel so free now!"
I'm very proud. It's a big milestone. But it's not as liberating as I wish.
It's partly that I'm still getting my confidence back as a driver. To feel comfortable, I have to plan the route ahead of time, mentally going through busy intersections, rotaries, and tricky parking lots. It's partly that the most simple errands are a lot more physical work now--from getting my coat zipped up to wrangling a shopping cart with my uneven strength. And it's also partly that I tire very easily, so I only drive around my town or the next one, for now.
But the biggest reason is that it's the first time that I've felt the weight of total responsibility since the stroke. Although I have responsibility for my kids when I'm alone with them, they are old enough that I don't have to watch them like a hawk. Driving is different. I've spent a lot of time in a rehab hospital over these years. I've seen the results of serious car accidents, and the wreckage of people's lives.
9 hours ago