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To the Person Ashamed to Use Tools to Help Their Disability

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As we come up on the end of year two of my tibia(s)/ fibula(s) reconstruction surgery, I want to share something with you.

As I reflect, I’m realizing how ashamed I was of my new situation, and the fact that things were more different than I could ever imagine. Of course, I spent many moments during that year and a half of recovery crying and wondering when things would get back to “normal.” I still do sometimes, but it lasted days at the beginning. Now, it really only lasts a few hours every few months. Typical disability-related emotions I guess.

I never realized though, how much I wanted to be back to “normal” until recently when I realized how beneficial some of my tools from rehab would be now. I stopped using my leg loops, and got rid of them when I could prove to my therapists I could lift my legs off the side of the bed alone. I also stopped using my sliding board (still have it though) when I could prove I could lift my body from one place to the other with my arms.

Improvements are great. We realize you are tough. We believe you are unstoppable when it comes to how much you can handle. We are proud and thankful for you. We see you, and I see and feel how much you want your usual independence/strong-willed personality back as a place of security in this change.

Being in this difference for two years though, I’ve seen that circumstances change. Maybe not the situation itself, but places and things change where having these tools may make life easier.

Trust me, again, I know it’s hard. I’d be lying if I said even five years later, we could act like none of this happened, and we’d be back to our old selves. But, please never be so ashamed of the things that contribute to supporting this new change (lifelong disability or disability related to other trauma), that you get rid of them the first chance you get.

Things happen to shape us into who we are meant to be. Emotions are a given, but you are strong enough to embrace it all, and deserve to without being shameful of the ways and times in which you may need support.

Getty image by Image Source

Originally published: December 18, 2019
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