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Why I'm Proud of My Independence as a Wheelchair User

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I cannot tell you how often I hear the phrase “I don’t know how you do it.”  The truth of the matter is, I don’t really have a choice. Just like most of you do every morning, I have to keep going and try my best to keep up with my life’s routine. As a wheelchair user, it’s true it takes a lot more patience and strength to muscle up and do normal daily living activities, but I am still human. I do what I have to do to live my best possible life.

I often say I deserve a gold medal for many of my adaptations. Many of you would gasp if you saw the way I have to adapt things like going to the bathroom and other such daily activities of living. The main point is that I get it done. It may take more time and patience, but getting it done is all I really care about.

I do not like having to rely on other people. It makes me feel incredibly guilty because I know they too have things they need to get finished before the end of the day. My parents raised me with the idea that they are not going to be around forever, and I needed to figure out a way to get things done on my own.

This may sound harsh to you. Believe me, when my parents first told me that, I thought they were being rude to me. However, now I thank them for pushing me to my limits and beyond, because it has taught me to fend for and care for myself. No matter how much it takes out of me, I am always proud to announce that I am a pretty independent person, especially when you consider all the physical issues I have.

I won’t lie. My days can be pretty dark and hard. When I have mental breakdowns, they are usually behind closed doors, and there is nothing nice about them. I know things will only get harder as I age further into my 30s and especially into my 40s. However, until then, I will continue to take immense pride in my ability to do things on my own despite my disability and other health conditions. It’s all about rolling with the punches, quite literally, and keeping going!

Getty image by hedgehog94.

Originally published: July 29, 2019
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