I just transferred from a community college to a four year to obtain my bachelor's degree. I’m away from home (45 minutes) for the first time. I am 22 and pretty independent. However, my house is not fully accessible to me. We have an accessible shower, but I’m not able to pull into it with my chair. The laundry room isn’t ideal for me to do my own laundry. I am independent in other ways like dressing myself, getting food, Transferring in and out of bed, etc. I always knew in my heart that I could do all that I am unable to if put in the right environment.
I can now shower myself, without any help. In addition, I’ve been doing my own laundry and so much more. I am so proud of myself as I haven’t done these things completely by myself before. Sometimes, it’s not that you can’t do something, it’s that you’re not in the right environment. This isn’t to say that I won’t have times where I’ll accept the help that is offered or that I won’t need it. I am simply proving to myself, and those around me that I can do things that they thought I couldn’t. Being here has given me confidence and allows me to stand up for what I know I am capable of, even when others don’t think I am.
Through all of this, I still have to remind myself and those that read this, that ability does not equal value. Even if you need more assistance, you aren’t a burden or a problem. At times, I find myself getting caught up in my physical abilities and that is not where my worth lies, and neither does yours. Don’t compare yourself to an abled bodied person. But especially don’t compare your abilities to others in this community. You are beautiful and strong and those are found in your heart.
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