Featured StoryHealth

I’m Doing Well

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. 

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