My mom texted me this morning and until that moment I didn't realize today is the date, three years ago that changed my life completely. It's the day I've sustained a spinal cord injury. I feel like I want to celebrate that I am still here but I also feel a bit empty.
I think back and so much good has happened over the last year. I am truly thankful for that.
LIFE GOES ON
The other day I've met a woman who walks her dog by my house daily. She walks slow and she has this small dog that seems to be walking her. She told me she had a stroke a few months ago. The small dog is her motivation to get out the house, to keep walking and to keep going. The dog also saved her life, it realized sooner that something was wrong as it started to lick her face and crawled upon her, that night moments before she realized herself she needed to call an ambulance. You can tell, this dog is her life. The dog saved her life and probably still is. It's a touching story. Now, this woman has to live life 'slow' as she says, because her body can't handle her lifestyle as it was before. As she tells me her story I feel she is struggling with the fact that she can't do what she used to do before. 'I could never live like you are doing' she says. 'I mean being paralyzed and living in a wheelchair. I've used a wheelchair for a few weeks but I prefer walking'.
To me this wheelchair, is everything. Without it, I am nowhere. Being paralyzed from the waist down is not easy but it's not undoable living life. People keep saying that they couldn't live like this... and that is because they don't have to. I have to, it's either giving up or moving on with what is still possible.
The opportunities that came into my life because of the spinal cord injury make life (with a spinal cord injury) worth living. Never have I ever, thought I was going to be interviewed for magazines, being a runway (roll) model for a couture show or to be a candidate in a television show. Ofcourse these highlights will never replace walking and 'being abled'. But even after all the bad stuff that happened I managed to create something positive from the negative. Life is still worth it! I am independent and I have a job. I know I can have a good life and so can you. It took me a long time to realize that I am stronger than most people. Not because I am paralyzed, but because I am me.
'You must have changed, you are probably a completely different person than before you ended up in a wheelchair' the lady with the small dog assumed. I feel like I did not change. The situation only highlighted my weaknesses and strengths.
Keep on rolling
What did I learn over the last 3 years living with a disability?
Bureaucracy is hell. Fight for your rights.
You need to educate the people about disabilities. Sharing is caring.
What you always knew but need to keep sacred; The most important thing is health. (Eat plantbased. Exercise weekly. Sleep full nights. Positive mind.)
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