My husband and I were talking the other day, and he mentioned that several positive experiences we have had within the past few years were an indirect of the confidence I’ve gained since being in a wheelchair.
Wait, confidence, from being in a wheelchair?
I had to think about it. I’ve always been insecure/low self-esteem/whatever.
When I first started needing assistance walking, it was difficult…ok, devastating. I cried a lot. I hated walking across an open room. I held on to walls for balance. I tried using a cane, but never was very good at it. Finally, I began to accept the fact that I needed a wheelchair.
When I first started using a wheelchair, I was a little self-conscious, but the ability to go from one side of my kids school to the other was nice. I didn’t have to constantly plan where I would sit, that was close to a wall, and not in everyone’s way. I didn’t worry about the amount of time it would take to hobble to the restrooms at church. Wheelchairs are a lot faster.
I started taking my kids on “walks” once we got a ramp and I could bring my powerchair outdoors. We went everywhere. We still do. :)
I used to walk, run, slide down the banister at college, literally walked about 4 miles when I couldn’t get a ride to work one day…
Thing is, I’ve always been independent, but maybe I am more confident since being in the chair. I still have all my old insecurities, plus some new ones (atrophy, bladder issues, etc.); but I know I can survive.
I know that there will always be people “better” in some way. That’s true for all of us. I know that I’m capable of more than I would have imagined. So are you. I know that regardless of how much makeup I put on, how much I tone my abs, and how cute my hair is; I’m still in a wheelchair and you know what? That’s okay.
I still have lots of bad days, and plenty of pity parties, but could it be that I am stronger now than I was before I became disabled? I’m starting to think so. Hopefully I can dance while rolling down the street and show people you don’t have to be “perfect” to be happy. Hopefully I can show my kids that life is to be lived for all of us. Broken bodies don’t have to equate to broken spirits.
Today I’m going to live. I’m going to “walk” the dogs to my kids school. I’m going to breathe the fresh spring air and wave at strangers, and maybe even try a few dance moves.
Hope you live today too.