Adversity is part of life. Everyone – disabled or not – experiences it. I have realized that I believe that if I achieve a complete cure for my physical self – as in every trace of my disability being completely gone – I will automatically have an easier, happier, more comfortable, and better life where I can ‘get on with it’ and do other things and move through the world free and unencumbered. It doesn’t work like that and it never will. If I were wholly healed, I would still sometimes encounter physical challenges. This is true of everyone: even the healthiest strongest and most able-bodied people still have limitations. Completely curing myself will not exempt me from further adversity.
Last night, I told a friend of mine that if I didn’t have five or six current struggles – one of them being my physical rehabilitation – I would have five or six other problems. If I didn’t have a disability to overcome and pain to manage, I could have an abusive relationship or a mountain of debt or a thankless job or an unsupportive family. It helped me put certain things into perspective. I often get caught up in the semantics of words like disability, rehabilitation, limitation, cure, and work, particularly when I feel stressed or frustrated about my physical progress and my physical capabilities.
Writing this has opened a space for me to count my blessings (and there are many). I have an amazing family, trustworthy friends, an education, so much opportunity to travel and experience new things and meet new people, and I have the possibility to overcome my disability. I am very lucky.