Learning to Not Be Ashamed of My Wheelchair

Learning to Not Be Ashamed of My Wheelchair

I’ve told myself on repeat to not be ashamed of my wheelchair. That it’s okay, and if anyone has a problem it’s their issue not mine. I stand by that, I really do. My feelings morph into anxiety and resentment when people I know personally see me in it. It’s my little secret I like to keep to myself. The look on their face is so disheartening.  They almost seem fearful, completely shocked, and mostly confused. I know I have to take care of myself but can’t I have just this one thing not be known to everyone. Will I ever be okay with this? It’s so hard to constantly process everything thrown your with chronic health issues.

I don’t expect others to get this. I barely do. That’s why I feel it’s easier for nobody to know. I don’t have to explain if I look perfectly okay. It’s naive for any of us to think that way though. When we don’t tell, we are faking it. We are hurting ourselves out of fear. Fear of judgement, fear of pity, fear of being looked at differently, I can keep going. So we keep pushing ourselves, we keep causing harm, because we think we can tough through it. They don’t have to see us laying out on our bed in intense pain, or skipping a shower because we’re tired and it’s too much work, they don’t see us cry in despair… because we are strong. I am strong. YOU are strong.

I began to question that thought process. I am putting myself in agony to benefit who? It can’t be for me or my family. I don’t go out, I am moody as heck, my body throbs, all for what!? The hope nobody will notice? Yes, they saw me in a wheelchair. I sure didn’t want them too. I was not ready at all (I don’t know if I ever will be). It could be worse…It always could be worse.  I’m insecure constantly trying to fake I’m okay with all this. But honestly, who would be?

The fact is I need to suck it up. My kids need me, they need me there and not putting myself in more pain than I already am. I found my motivating force. What gets me through the toughest of days. We all need that, to know it’s all worth it. Understanding there’s a bigger force that will get you through.

Life will continue to go on, whether we choose to join in on it or not depends largely on us. There will be bad days. Times that it feels nearly impossible. When you can’t move or don’t want to. That’s okay. You can’t give up on tomorrow. You have to refuse to think of the impossible and instead dream of the possible.

There will be one day where the sky seems bluer and the stars shine brighter. The change won’t be because they are but rather in how you view them. The appreciation for that specific time, that day. So, what’s my point? I hope one day that appreciation happens with my love-hate relationship with my wheelchair. That I will be able to see people I know personally and think “Wow, at least I had the chance to see them.” I’ll get there, I know I will…till then I’ll marvel at the fact I have come this far. I am active about my health, I share my story, and have began to connect with others with similar issues. I’ve already jumped some of my biggest hurdles. Thank you for being on this journey with me.

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