Wish Upon A Better Feeling

It’s not a novel idea, but it’s not at the front of everyone’s mind: our struggles are largely the same. A lot of us will think that our trials and tribulations set us apart, that the way we feel is unique, who we are is unique, and that’s what we all have in common.

Myself, I’m not very bothered by being in a wheelchair. I don’t like it, but I never cried about it. Recently, talking with some friends, they rehashed the moment they were told about my injury. It was actually a bit emotional for me – hearing my friends recall this the same way anyone remembers many details about the moment they heard <insert important event>. I remember the whole thing, but not in that way. I don’t remember the exact moment I realized my legs don’t move or anything like that. Again, I never cried about it, and maybe in this case it’s worse to have someone close have this happen to them rather than be the one it happens to.

I do cry, I do get very sad, and run through the hills of emotion but if I were to write only about those things, you’d never hear about the wheelchair directly.

What inspired me to write this is a comment I saw on my youtube, and there are many of these, where someone just writes about their situation in a negative connotation. I’ve done this before – expressing my discontent with my situation. I really try not to, because it’s worthless. Other than some relief given from complaining, no one wants to hear anyone complain and it’s a very bad habit to get into.

Instead of talking about past days and resenting the present moment, I’d rather talk about my plans to ensure my current situation is temporary all the while being present and accepting the moment. This is the power of now, mindfulness, stoicism, or spiritualism type of stuff.

If you don’t have a plan to change what you don’t like, then please don’t complain. I don’t want to see comments, I don’t want to hear it. Because if it isn’t going to change, then you’ll be making the same complaints on repeat looking for someone to join you in your discontent. Get a therapist to listen to that (they get paid to listen), but even then what (I hope) they’ll tell you is that you need to have a plan to fix this “problem,” otherwise stop seeing it as a problem.

A Story on Growing Confidence and Pooping With the Door Open

How courage and confidence have become my priority for putting myself first.

The university I attended had a lot of inaccessibility. So much so that there was a group that started just to address it, I’m talking about basic ADA compliance. There’s a bathroom with only a single stall that when I go in, the wheelchair doesn’t even get all the way in and so the stall door won’t shut.

Once I had to go to the bathroom (a different one than mentioned above), and the larger stall was occupied. As an aside, I try not to get upset at people who use these stalls and don’t need to, because honestly, who would want to do business in the small tight stalls? Anyway, I really had to pee and ended up peeing my pants because of the stall being occupied. I even took the elevator to another floor and found the larger stall in use there as well. I took the next week to do my schooling from home to avoid this happening again.

When I came back to the university campus, my friend introduced me to a new way of thinking. It’s called “dude, who cares, do what you need to do.” In action, this translates to: when I have to pee, as long as I’m in the bathroom, I’m going to pee. I don’t need to go into a stall, I can just go next to a urinal, and if not that, then just face a wall or a corner. If I need to poop, I don’t need a big stall, I just need to get close enough to a toilet so I can transfer onto it.

Here’s the story, and not the only instance of this. I was at whole foods eating some food and waiting for a tow truck to pick up my brother’s car and we got hungry. As a human wont, I had to pee. On my way to the bathroom, the very kind security guard came running down the hall after me to give me a lot of help (more than I need, but I truly love people of this kind heart). He held open the door and was seemingly ready to do anything. He actually waited for me to finish so he could open the door for me on my way out and asked many times if I needed help with anything.

Here’s the thing, there were two stalls, one larger and one smaller, both occupied. Without hesitation, I go to the urinals to pee, wash my hands, and go back to finish eating. As soon as I get back to the table, I realize I need to poop. I usually can tell just like anyone else, but it’s hard to predict when I’ll have waited too long, and then I’ve reached the point of no return. This was a moment of no return, I had waited too long. I bolt back to the bathroom, hoping to avoid the security guard’s notice, and knowing that at this point, the best I can do is minimize the trouser attrition.

Naturally, the larger stall is taken, but I entirely do not care. I go into the smaller stall, the door doesn’t shut but I can get in. Facing the toilet, I 180 transferred while taking off my pants and released the Kraken. All the ruckus doubtless grabs the attention of the guy in the larger stall, who certainly feels poorly about himself (and I’m not without a shit tonne of resentment). I’m still on the toilet, (with my pants up at this point) when the guy gets out to wash his hands and I stare deep into his soul when he catches my glance in the mirror.

I finished up, washed my hands, went back to our table, finished my food, the tow truck came, we left to go to the broken down car, and I went home to shower.

The point is, I’m absolutely done letting anything get in my way when I need to do something, especially when the implications are trouser attrition. This requires a lot of confidence and courage, it’s harder to do at work where I’ll see these people day in and day out, but they won’t want to admit it happened any more than I’ll want it to happen. Ultimately, it’s a mindset and value change, it’s not easy to do, but necessary if you respect yourself.

In What Way to Accept Being Disabled

A fair amount of people struggle to accept being in a wheelchair. It’s possible to not like it yet accept it simultaneously. Naturally, I hate it entirely but that doesn’t keep me from being happy, living a great life and doing what I want. I’m here, now.

I was at the zoo with a some friends, they had a kid that was old enough to walk around but young enough that they brought a stroller for her. She ended up not using the stroller at all. Throughout the time we were at the zoo, and struggling to get the stroller around, the mother was poking some passive aggressive things towards the father about how she knew they didn’t need it and so on. The father argued back a little bit, that they might’ve needed it and so on. A typical argument you may have when the wrong decision was made and one person was right. What I couldn’t understand during all this was that they were both intelligent, well read in philosophy, and a virtuous couple. All the while, the stroller was still there and ultimately no good came from their bickering.

Remember this: the stroller is here, now. You are here, now. That won’t change, now.

%d bloggers like this: