“We’ve been sold the lie that disability is a Bad Thing.” – Stella Young
It never ceases to amaze me how one short phrase can evoke such a strong emotional reaction. When I read the above quote on my Instagram feed the other day I was overcome by a lot of feelings. But high on the list were disbelief, annoyance and anger. I don’t think that I am often speechless, however when I tried to explain what I was feeling to my husband, I came up blank. Over the next couple of days, the phrase wandered in and out of my thoughts: “We’ve been sold the lie that disability is a Bad Thing.” Really, a lie? Call me crazy but I don’t think it’s a great thing. I wouldn’t even say it’s a good thing. No, I would definitely say that disability is a bad thing; I would say that disability sucks! Continue reading “Disability Sucks! And I’m OK with That”
Christmas is gearing up around my house and I’m pretty excited about it. Honestly, I love everything about the holidays. From the anticipation to the decorating to the traditions to the music, it’s the time of year that I feel the most grounded. For six weeks or so I have a pretty good idea of what to expect out of life; it is predictable and it is comforting. So yes, I am one of those people who breaks out the Christmas songs and decorations in November because it allows me to breathe. I can think to myself “OK, we did it. We made it to another Christmas”. With all of the change that has happened, the holidays are still familiar and welcoming; a feeling of coming home again. And even though I still get so much joy out of this season, I can’t help but feel moments of loss as well for all of the reasons that my favourite time of year is now different. Continue reading “Finding Christmas in My Recalculated Life”
I like to be in control. I always have. It’s probably part of the reason why my mother-in-law and I took so long to forge a meaningful relationship. If there’s one thing you don’t want when you are a bit of a control freak mama, it’s a control freak daughter-in-law; a recipe for potential disaster. But somehow we make it work (love you Grammy). But beyond that, control has always grounded me and helped me to navigate through the fog of anxiety. Believing that I was consistently in control of my own situation allowed me to feel safer in a world that has continually left me trembling. I think it is part of the reason I hate flying so much – the lack of control. Then there were the aspects to control that I never took time to think about because they were – as I believed – non-negotiable; the control of my own body. To relinquish control of something can be challenging. But to have it taken from you is like having the ground disappear from underneath you – trust me, I know the feeling all too well. Continue reading “Relinquishing Control”
Travelling with your children is a very different experience from travelling without them just as travelling with a spinal cord injury is a very different experience from travelling without one. Travelling with both children and a spinal cord injury is the Mt. Everest of travel scenarios. As we prepare to head out on a family vacation, I thought I would give you the run-down on how this all works now that my spinal cord injury is part of the equation. After we get home I will share the good, the bad, and the (hopefully not) ugly parts of our actual travel experiences. Continue reading “Going to Disney with a Spinal Cord Injury – Part 1: the Planning and the Packing”
I had a dream a couple of nights ago – a dream I’ve had before. I was still in a wheelchair but could easily walk when I felt it necessary. For instance, I would wheel up to a staircase, proceed to stand and walk up or down the stairs and then continue on in my wheelchair. I’ve said before, the inability to walk is the easiest part of dealing with a spinal cord injury (it really is!). However, the sense of relief I feel in those dreams is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. It’s like realizing you can breathe just when you thought the oxygen had run out. And for a few moments, while I convince myself that I am not dreaming, life becomes easier. Continue reading “An Uninvited Dream”
If you know me or have followed me on social media you have probably seen that I like to play around with singing and music. Considering I focused on Music when I was in high school, you would think that I know my stuff but I really don’t. I enjoy it and I manage to be in key slightly more often than I am out of it, but I am far from the most talented musician I know. I’m not even the most talented musician in my marriage! Even so, music has been an incredible outlet for me since my injury. Continue reading “It’s All in the Lyrics”
Every so often I find myself contemplating whether or not this blogging thing is for me. This past week has been one of those weeks; I had to take some time to regroup. My latest post got some attention and, for the most part, it was all really positive. However this was the first time that I also received some really negative feedback. I’m a fairly sensitive person and while I knew that it was bound to happen eventually, I still found myself reeling from the few personal attacks on my character. So instead of concentrating on all of the messages from people who found my post so relatable, I instead found myself focusing on the few who really hated what I had to say. I started to question, once again, why it is I’m sharing my life in such a public manner. And I determined that one of the biggest reasons is this: to reclaim my anonymity. Continue reading “Reclaiming My Anonymity”
We all draw inspiration from different places and different people. Although, if we are being totally honest, it mostly comes from Pinterest. However, I feel lucky in the sense that I have a lot of screen-free inspiration in my life. I’m surrounded by numerous people who motivate me to be better: a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter, a better writer, and a better version of myself. And over the last year I have packed my newsfeeds with people who inspire me to continue this journey in life despite my physical limitations. Continue reading “An Inspiration By Default”
It’s my birthday. I’ve always loved my birthday but ever since I turned 19, I have hated the idea of getting older. I don’t know why the number has bothered me so much. Up until a week ago I was saying that 30 just sounded so old. But I’ve changed my mind. Partly because a lot of my friends, all of my siblings and most of my cousins are in their forties (it helps a girl stay young), but mostly because of something I read the other day and everything it made me think about.
A memory came up on Facebook (as they do every day when you subscribe to the ‘on this day’ function). 10 years ago, I wrote that I was not looking forward to my birthday because turning 20 meant “a downward spiral into oblivion.” Initially I read it and thought that my 19-year-old self was quite the dramatic. As I thought about it more I realized that, while dramatic, she was also kind of right. While I didn’t make it all the way to oblivion, I definitely hit the bottom – spine first.
Continue reading “Paralyzed, Barefoot And 30!”
There are a lot of people out there who call me brave for sharing my journey so openly. Many of them wonder why I choose to expose my life to anyone with an Internet connection and a screen. In all honesty, I have asked myself these questions more than once. There are days where attempting to turn my thoughts into something coherent seems almost impossible. There are moments where I feel misunderstood. Some days I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the feedback I get from readers, while other days I worry that I’m not reaching anyone. And all too often I feel anxious thinking that I might disappoint someone by not always seeing the silver lining. Continue reading “Why I Tell You Everything”