The Mighty Logo

Why I Relate to the Movie 'Doctor Strange' as a Person With a Disability

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I recently saw Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” and I probably didn’t see the movie as others would. While some might think it is just your typical superhero movie, it meant much more to me.

Dr. Strange didn’t start with superhero strength, or superhero powers. He was a regular man living in New York city as a neurosurgeon. Then he suddenly lost the ability to do the things that made him happy. He went through multiple surgeries and hours of physical therapy, yet he felt powerless. He felt useless and frustrated because he wasn’t the same anymore. He was trying so hard to get back to where he was, and didn’t want to accept the fact that things will never be the same.

Eventually, he met someone special who would help him accept who he was, and teach him to see beyond his imperfections. There was no need to look at his new impairment as a cause for negativity or defeat. She wanted him to understand he could become stronger, but it was his mind he needed to convince. He needed to realize his flaws and imperfections were his true powers in order to become Dr. Strange.

The reason this movie resonates with me, and why I see it as more than just a regular superhero movie, is because anyone who has faced a physical life-changing experience will understand all the emotions and pain he went through. Having scoliosis and going through 4 spinal fusions, I felt like I lost a part of me each time. It wasn’t easy to admit or accept that each time I had surgery, I was more limited in what I could do. Going from being a pretty active person to spending more days in bed because of pain or limitations, I saw myself in him. It brought back memories of all the surgeries, pain, and letdowns I’ve gone through with my scoliosis.

Towards the end of the movie, he realized that true strength and power came from inside, and I also found that out. You can’t be strong and overcome obstacles if you don’t believe in yourself. I spread the message to all I come across that to fight against our chronic diseases and our pains, we have to be strong and stand tall. I know it’s easier said that done, but if Steve can fall and pick himself back up and come back as superhero Dr. Strange, then so can we.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.


Originally published: November 9, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home