2019 has by far been my best year yet. I’ve been having such a good time in the last few months that I feel like time is moving too fast like there is so much to do in such a limited time. Much of this newly found joy has been as a result of putting to action my elaborate message to promote the inclusion of people with disability in our society. It’s a cause that is very close to my heart and each day I am motivated to voice our struggles and needs as a community because no one can tell or write our stories better than us. My story starts here – From Stairs To Ramps: The Beginning – The Accident That Changed My Life
Being able to identify myself with a particular purpose and having actual goals that I would like to achieve is the greatest blessing that has been bestowed to me in the last five years. There is nothing quite as crippling as lacking identity; not having a stand or any real conviction that supersedes personal needs and wants. Life is much more fulfilling once you get out of your own shell and bear witness to the realities of life. Once you feel a suffering that is not yours, shed a tear for a brother and share in the joy of a stranger.
Shortly after the accident, I didn’t possess the strength to see beyond the present day. The grief of being disabled had clouded my judgement and I believed that I knew what my future looked like; it would be tragically short and unfortunately miserable. Nothing could convince me otherwise at the time because I didn’t have the strength to plant my feet on the ground and put up a challenge. The struggle of feeling like all is lost and that there was nothing left to fight for was oddly comforting, all I had to do was sit and wait for whatever I believed was coming my way.
The most challenging thing about my life is how predictable it can be. I wouldn’t want to sound like I am complaining but life can be dull sometimes when you can tell with certainty where you will be and what you will be doing. It’s most predictable because people like me have routines we live by. Morning routines, feeding routines, evening routines… it’s easier to repetitively do one thing because there are often not too many options available. Over time, life starts to feel like a well-rehearsed play; the lines never change, the characters say the same things… it’s antiseptic; it’s not good and it isn’t bad either.
This life can be quite limiting too, as much as we claim to be liberal and writers of our own scripts, deep down we are battling with all the stereotypes that are associated with people like us. We want to push the envelope and live rewarding, exciting lives but we are cautious. We do not want to push too much; we do not want to seem indifferent. Our society has long believed that disabled people, especially those who have found themselves in such conditions later in life are supposed to be inspirational, spiritual and they should be dedicating their lives to their maker because they have been given a second chance at life. Behaving in a way that contradicts the stereotypes that have been designed for us makes some of us look like outcasts. From Stairs To Ramps: Finding My Identity As A Man On A Wheelchair