I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone that I’ve been on quite the journey since my injury. I mean, I think that’s just to be expected, a lot has changed and I don’t think I need to even bother listing any of those things. But as hard and challenging as this life can be on me some days, I can’t even imagine what it’s like for those around me.
I’m not in their shoes and I never will be. All I can do is imagine and worry and try hard.
I’ve been blessed with the best people to ever have on your side to support and push you through the hard days. My college friends make me laugh when I need it most and despite being 300 miles away, they still stay in touch (even if that means constant text messages to discuss the wacko-ness of the Bachelor). I mean, staying in touch as a busy college student takes work and effort. Then there’s all of the people who follow me here and my family’s friends. The cards I receive, phone calls that come to the house, friendly hello’s while I’m out on the town, and comments I read on here seriously do keep me smiling. Then there’s my family.
The people you simply are forever connected to. The people you don’t choose to be a part of your life, but just are. I mean sure, there are always moments when you go, “Seriously? I’m stuck with these people?” But I honestly wouldn’t trade them for anything. I mean, if I did, who would ask me if my toes were cold (that would be a moment of Mom brilliance) or text me a photo of a wheelbarrow at Costco for use on my next muddy sheep outing (thanks Danielle…).
They’ve been so strong through all of this and have had to adapt just like I have, only in different ways. Bedrooms had to get switched around and there’s a big ole ramp in our garage. I always have dibs on shotgun in the van and our bathroom has a shower curtain for a door…yea, no super stinky #2’s allowed. I’m just barely scratching the surface of the differences…
I worry a lot about how all these differences affect those around me. I’ll always say differences aren’t bad, they’re just different, but not everyone sees things that way.
I never want to burden anyone with the things that I need to function, even out and about in the world that wasn’t built for me as a wheelchair user. I don’t want to have to make people change their plans for a night out because I can’t get into the predetermined destination. I don’t ever want to take away attention from someone else’s challenges or triumphs simply because of my situation. I honestly feel terrible when I have to tap someone on the shoulder (well arm, short people problems…) and ask them to move aside so I can get through when any other person would have fit just fine.
Is there a fine line between being a burden and asking for help with something? Or are they two completely different chapters in the book of life?
As a person who’s always been the “helper” rather then the “help-e” and the person who makes adjustments instead of the person who needs the adjustments, it’s a lot to grapple with. And you know, I think working through all of that is one of the many things that’s brought me to where I’m at today, physically and mentally. I didn’t and don’t want to burden my friends and family so I did and try to do everything in my power to move forward.
Moving forward isn’t easy when everything changes so drastically, but with a family of boisterous-laughter-filled/tall-enough-to-get-things-out-of-the-cupboard individuals, it sure is a heck of a lot easier. It’s a lot easier to navigate and problem solve through the challenges of life. It’s a lot easier to laugh at yourself when you loose your phone and find out it’s in the shoe your wearing when your foot starts ringing. It’s just a lot easier.
So thank you.