Confidently Broken

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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.

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32 thoughts on “Confidently Broken

  1. I can relate to the freedom a wheelchair can bring. When I was a teenager I owned motorcycles. I’m not suggesting that you should run out and get a two-wheeled wheelchair or anything but I certainly hope that you “pimp your rude”—it’s most satisfying and should some mobility-challenged thief ever snag it at the wheelchair service centre (No- So Jiffy Lube?), it’ll be much easier to pick yours out of the crowd. I suggest that you get a big cushy headrest like I installed on my Hondas for my passengers.

    • Maybe…probably…ok. (Being in a wheelchair has not made me more decisive). 😉

      Are there any guidelines, or anything in particular I should write about?

        • Okay, so you want me to write something then email it to you? I’ve been slacking off on writing, so don’t plan on being too impressed with it. Also, when do you need/want it, and you really should give me some direction to go with it…

          • Let me think… You could either email it to me, or I can make you a contributor on the blog. That way, you could just post it yourself. I’d like to posted sometime next week, I normally post on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays. And the issues that the majority of these things focus on are things that get little play when talking about disability issues. Butting heads against societal misconceptions, relationships, daily, seemingly mundane struggles. Things like that. And don’t worry, I’ve been slacking too… I feel like my writing has lost some of its edge, some of its vigor. I look forward to reading what you come up with 🙂

            • Ok, either way. I’ve never contributed to someone else’s blog, but whichever is easiest for you. I’ll think about what to write. I have a few ideas. Maybe I’ll write about being the invisible man/woman; people only see the chair, not whoever’s in it. I don’t know. I’ve got some other thoughts too.

                • Sage? What if I write something sad/harsh/depressing? I’ve been in a good mood for a while, but today all I feel is pain. I’m wondering when enough is enough. When do you stop trying to be something, do something…when do you just give up?

                  I don’t know. Maybe I should just keep my thoughts to myself, but I thought you might understand. Sometimes I wish the rest of the world could. Which is why I thought maybe I should write about the ups and downs for your monologues. But I don’t want people to feel sorry for us. Just understand. It’s complicated.

    • Mobility aides are just that…aides. I think that there is a lot of stigma that is associated with wheelchairs and scooters, but the bottom line is that they give the owner freedom to do some of the things other people take for granted.

      If you don’t need to be in it all the time, it is a good idea not to; atrophy’s a bitch, but I hope you enjoy any freedom gained by the scooter.

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