I decided/was forced to sacrifice my pride and use a wheelchair as my primary source of transport about one year ago. My college principal gave me the ultimatum: Wheelchair, or no college course. I admit I held a grudge on that lady for a good few months after. With my current history of my legs adapting to (in my eyes) the downgraded, seen as less cool piece of equipment; (walking to crutches, crutches to linking, linking to segway) I knew that once I made that transition into a wheelchair, there was no turning back. However, I didn’t want to throw away my future for my pride, an inevitable choice that I knew I would have to make soon.
I decided to opt for the wheelchair, more so to ensure my college place than anything else. I felt ashamed to be seen in a wheelchair; I had never planned for my life to go down this route. My independent self has now been replaced with this unfortunate, unlucky girl. My future has been ruined by this disease. However, I know that it won’t be forever. I have no evidence that this will ever become reality, but I can’t accept my new lifestyle will be for the rest of my life. This new girl has taken over my body won’t stay forever.
Opting for the wheelchair may have been the best decision, I would think, since my life had changed paths. I was more independent, more sociable, more accessible to the outside world; and vice versa. I did (and still do) get my fair share of (hashtag) idiots, who judge me based on my appearance, assuming ‘she’s in a wheelchair, so she must have no brain’ or she must be ‘special’, cos she’s in a wheelchair’. That’s what you’d automatically assume when you see some one, in my position. That’s what I assumed when I was younger growing up. I used to care about some one’s opinion of me in the chair. I used to hide in shame when someone looked at me sorrowfully, or as if they saw my future as being alone, with no romance, no friendships and family dependant for as long as I live. ‘Poor girl, heading for a life of misery and loneliness’ but now I have learned not to give a shit . People can judge me all they like, they don’t know my story, the struggles I have faced. I am most likely never going to see them again anyway. My family don’t judge me, they see me as the same, beautiful girl I was when I could walk. They are who matter, my friends, my family, my boyfriend. They are all who matter the most. However it took me a very long time to see it that way..