Having a spinal cord injury means thinking about the bigger picture. I’m not saying all of us have copious amounts of free time to wane philosophical, but it comes with a package when you sustain a spinal cord injury.
Is it God’s plan? How do I move past this? How can I be ok with using a wheelchair in public? These are the big questions we SCIers ask ourselves, and it’s not easy finding an answer. Sometimes, there’s no answer to be had, but there is however always a worthwhile, valid opinion from other people out there.
With that said, here are three phenomenal videos from people with SCI and other disabilities sharing their deep thoughts on aspects of living with a disability.
Video #1: See Past the Wheelchair Stigma, and to its Usefulness Instead
In this video from David, a Brit and the man behind HeyCrip.com, he shares his personal experience with accepting that it’s finally time to use a wheelchair. He has a progressive connective tissue disorder that made him use a wheelchair in 2013, and for years he was completely averse to the idea of using one.
“After all,” he says. “I was a walker like any other, and wheelchair meant horror.” A sad but true fact no matter the country you’re in. But as he reveals, once he started using a wheelchair, his life blossomed. No longer did he have to sit at home all day day in and day out because it was too painful to walk. The wheelchair opened up the world to him.
Check it out: Wheelchair, limiting or liberating?
Video #2: Growing Into Adulthood to Accept Yourself
In this heart-warming video of Kathryn, a woman with Muscular Dystrophy who became a counselor, she shares how after a few tough years growing up, she was finally able to shine despite her disability, and it was through finally finding the self-confidence she needed and never found as a teenager.
A trip to Europe as a young adult, and allowing complete strangers to carry her up four flights of stairs to see a castle, was the precipice of her finally being ok as a woman with a disability in public; a long time coming but exactly what she needed to move onto the next adult chapter of her life. She eventually went on to become a counselor, and frequently helps kids with disabilities.
Video #3: The Wheelchair Independent Life from Sonja D.
For those of you who have very incomplete injuries and can walk, but not all of the time, this video will surely be something you can relate to. It comes from Sonja D., a fabulous woman with rheumatoid arthritis who’s a wheelchair user, but not a 24/7 wheelchair-user, as she has good days when she can walk.
But on the days she can’t walk, she must use a manual wheelchair to navigate through every aspect of life, even though it was hard for her to accept that she must use a wheelchair in the beginning. She gives a quick overview of how she does all the things in life on the days she needs to use a chair.
Ah wheelchairs. Aren’t they fun? It’s a completely natural thing to get into deep train of thoughts and often when you use a wheelchair, but as you can see from the people we’ve shown, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. If anything, it’s a chance to finally see how far you’ve come, and have grown as a person.
How do you finally be ok with who you are?
Watch the videos!