We are lucky enough to live in an era where freedom is something we have become accustomed to. From the freedom of speech to the freedom to make decisions about what food we want to eat, clothes we want to wear and even the TV programmes we want to watch; we all have the freedom to live our lives in the way that we desire.
Throughout the years there have been many different examples of how freedom or lack of freedom has impacted on the lives of many. It is easy to think of freedom as having the ability to do what you want, when you want, but perhaps there is more to it than this. In today’s society, those who have ended up on the wrong side of the law spend their days in cells, with the majority of their rights taken from them. Then you have those who are in circumstances where their choices have been averted, such as those in abusive relationships. But, generally speaking, we live in a day where freedom is widespread.
Although we are all familiar with the term ‘freedom’, how often do we stop to reflect on what freedom actually is?
This week I truly envisaged what freedom is, to me.
There have been several times in my life where I have not been allowed the freedom that we all at times have come to expect. Of course, there is the time when I was in an induced coma, at this time all decisions that I would normally make for myself were instead, made for me; from not being able to choose what clothes I was wearing to having food given to me through a tube in my nose, all those little freedoms you take for granted everyday were gone. Even just last month when I was back in hospital I realised how trapped one can feel, not necessarily because of the lack of personal space (which can leave you feeling rather claustrophobic) but more due to the lack of freedom. You are woken up at a certain time – usually far earlier than you are used to, you are only allowed two visitors in your bed space at any given time and your daily medication that you typically take care of yourself is hidden away under lock and key.
However, the time when I really felt I had lost my freedom was when I lost my driving license. This was the second time that I had lost it due to having seizures. Not being able to just jump in the car and make the short trip to the neighbouring town was hugely debilitating.
When you wake up in the morning, grab your set of keys, stick them in the ignition and set off down the road, do you stop to appreciate what you are actually doing?
Last week I finally received my driving license in the post. After what seemed like a lifetime of waiting, I eventually obtained that brown envelope. And while I may not be driving across the Americas anytime soon, just having the autonomy to get in my car and drive away gives me the greatest feeling.
Being able to drive, for me, is life changing. It is freedom.
South Milton Sands…one of the first places I drove to when I got my freedom back!