I strongly believe able and disabled people think differently. Before my spinal cord injury, I didn't think about obstacles that could hinder my way from point A to point B. My thoughts were never about "What would I do if I was on the third floor and a fire broke out?" Now I constantly am on my 'A' game, when before I could put my body into auto pilot. The human brain is no different than a computer. We all have an operating system. An able bodied brain's code is written at birth. A disabled bodied brain's software is being written as it goes. I take different paths and write my own code.
It's a weird thing to think how different I am today due to my disability. The past five and-a-half years of my life (this includes the lives of my family and friends) is radically different from what I pictured it to be like before I became a paraplegic. Some dwell about being in a wheelchair, and I've had those days, but I can't let that take a hold of my life. While it would be nice to walk up a few steps, I appreciate how effective my brain is to adapting and conquering my way up to the top of the steps. Life is beautifu,l but only if you want it to be.
I would never be as caring as I am today without my disability. My past life was a selfish life, with thoughts of only me. I accept the fact I was not the nicest person. I've done a 180 degree change and I'm happy for it. How can this be? My legs were taken from me and without any restraint, I continue to get out of bed every day. This task is and was hard at first.
With time all wounds heal. Some take longer than others and that is perfectly acceptable. No two persons are exactly the same. I promise, with a positive attitude, your life will be magnificent. I was aware I was paralyzed from the moment I regained consciousness, but that doesn't connote acceptance. While in the hospital I gained friendships with fellow wheelchair users, but it all ended when I discharged home. I opposed the disability world because I thought I could survive with only able bodies. Boy was I wrong. Everything fell in place as soon as I opened my heart to others in chairs.
We think alike. We write our code daily and program our bodies to adapt to a world not built for wheelchairs. Join in on the fun, reach out to others in (yours and their) times of need. Be a valuable model that gives guidance, because sometimes a new operating system is difficult to learn by yourself. Reboot your life and start writing a new code designed just for you.