I start each day off on a positive note. I tell myself that I’m doing well. Recently, about a month ago, I paused and asked myself, “Self, are you really doing well?’
People may have several reasons for asking themselves that question. My reason is I’m in a wheelchair. I’ve been in a wheelchair since 1988 after a pedestrian accident (the drunk driver was at fault) left me paralyzed from the waist down. I was six years old at the time. Being that young I didn’t know about self-care. I was so busy trying to make sure other people were comfortable around me. Also, I was known for my smile. Whenever I went beyond the walls of my home, I had a smile on my face even if the world was cruel with their comments and stares. I acted as if I was doing well until I was the age of thirteen, which I considered the age of dating. The females I was interested in didn’t want to date a guy in a wheelchair. Furthermore, going into buildings that had stairs, and public transportation not being fully handicapped accessible really took an effect on me. I was confronted with the reality that I’m not doing well.
One of my major mottos was I didn’t want anyone to pity me. Therefore, I mastered dressing myself and transferring in and out of my wheelchair onto the bed, cars, and other chairs. Although my arms and hands ached from pushing my wheelchair, I refused anyone’s help who offered to push me. If I found myself in a situation where I needed someone else’s assistance, I made the decision not to do the task. There were times when I thought I wanted to give up. Then there were times when I felt I couldn’t give up. Why? Because I was still alive. I told myself I wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t handle my physical condition. People told me that I was their inspiration because I didn’t let anything hold me back, and I was always with a smile on my face. I was so busy with life that I didn’t have time to ponder if I’m doing well.
So, am I doing well? The answer is YES! I live on my own and I’m a published author! I’ve graduated from high school and I have two college degrees. I’m still single, however, that’s my choice. I can get on the dating scene and find a female who will love me for me. No, having material possessions and being accomplished doesn’t mean I’m well necessarily. I’m doing well because I love and accept myself. I’m doing well because, despite the pain in my body, I carry on. I’m doing well because I know what other people think or how they see me has absolutely nothing to do with me; that’s their personal perception. In the past, I admit I wasn’t doing well because I lived for others, as well as I wasn’t honest with myself. Nowadays, I allow myself to have a bad day (if that’s the case). I give myself permission to cry if I’m frustrated. I’m almost 40 years old, and it took me 30 of those 40 years to honestly say I’m doing well.