As some of my readers know, I use a wheelchair most of the time when I leave the house. I also use wheelchair-accessible public transportation, which is faulty even in the best of weather, so in the winter it can be downright unbearable. Plus, traveling with a wheelchair anywhere in the winter is a hardship. So what’s a gal to do to preserve her mental health and stay in touch with her geeky community?
The first thing is to try to fill the geeky gap on your own. I won’t go into too much detail since I covered this in a previous article, but you can do all sorts of things on your own. You can binge-watch your favorite TV shows or pop in a movie. You can read a book or color. You can write a poem or do something else creative.
If you do want some social interaction, there’s always the Internet. There are so many good things it can do for you with multiple social media sites like Tumblr, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and my personal fave, Facebook. This is how I talk to all my friends. I can either instant-message them or video chat—then we can discuss whatever’s going on in our lives, from pop-culture references to the latest political update.
If you video chat, you can do things together like color while sharing music lists, read books, or even have a virtual dinner date. You can even play D&D campaigns with people halfway across the world if you can make the time difference work for you. The more creative you get, the more possibilities there are. Besides Facebook chat, there is Skype and Google Hangouts.
Online gaming is also a great thing. I usually play simple Facebook games or point-and-click games from Steam, which work the best with my hands. Casual and untimed games are preferable, but I do enjoy some more complex ones like Skyrim—I love the open-world mechanic. Other people use headsets and play multiplayer online games on giant servers. There are so many possibilities. RPGs are great fun, and you can play with old friends or meet new ones.
Finally, depending on how easy it is for your friends to get around, you can always invite them to your house. There are also a variety of things to be done. You can have a quiet hangout day where you read and color while listening to a video-game soundtrack. You can have a movie night with lots of popcorn and bags of mini candy bars. You can even make it a themed get-together (if you’ve read about what a huge Tolkien fan I am, you know what I’d pick). Friends can bring foods related to the movie, and you can even dress up if you so wish. Or have a board-game day where you just play game after game. You can try multiple games or play many rounds of the same game, like Magic: The Gathering.
So if physical limitations prevent you from leaving the house, don’t despair. Join a discussion group. Skype. Or even bring the party to you!