Top 5 Favorite Things About Being in a Wheelchair!
One of the phrases I hate the most is “wheelchair bound.” My chair allows me to get around (relatively) independently, and without it, I’d have to stay in my bed full time. I’m not chained to it, it’s what gives me my freedom! A wheelchair is a positive thing, and just having one is a privilege.
That kind of language really shows how people view disability, though. One of the biggest misconceptions about wheelchair users is that we sit around all day being sad and wishing we could walk, but for so many of us that’s absolutely not the case.
It super bums me out to think so many people view my life with such a negative lens, so I figured I’d share just a few of my favorite things about being in a wheelchair!
1. It’s super easy to find the people I trust and want to spend time with.
I like to think of my wheelchair as a relationship filter. Nothing chases people away faster than a disability, and the more involved the disability, the faster they run. The people who stay and treat me with the same kindness and respect as they do their abled friends are the people I know I can really trust. They’re a rare breed, but I really appreciate that it doesn’t take long for me to pick them out. I’m all for not wasting my time.
2. I get to prove people wrong all the time.
Maybe I’m petty, but I love to watch someone’s reaction when I do something they assumed I couldn’t. This was more of a thing when I was in school, but still definitely high on my list. Sometimes I struggle through a task out of spite, even though I know someone else could do much faster, just so I can say I did it. Probably not one of my finer traits, but I enjoy it anyway.
3. It’s taught me how to be creative and resourceful.
In the grand scheme of things, the world isn’t accessible. Most spaces, clothes, products, etc aren’t designed for people like me, so I have to figure out how to make things work on my own. I use a ruler to turn my light on and my footrests serve as a bulldozer when heavy objects are in my way. I’ve even figured out how to pick things up with a flimsy back scratcher before. I’m a pro at finding fun things to do with my family in a very theme park/beach enthusiastic state. I just look at things differently than a lot of people, and I really love that.
4. I always know I’m going to have a comfy seat no matter where we go.
I’m sorry but it’s high key satisfying when we go to a movie and someone complains about how uncomfortable the seat is but I’ve got my wheelchair reclined and my headrest just right. I already told you I’m petty.
5. I always have prime lap seating available for cats and small pups!
Is there anything more important than this? No. Not really. I can’t walk, but my legs are always ready and willing for soft paws to land on, and that’s what counts.
It’s not all doom and gloom like the movies make it out to be. Perpetuating the idea that disabled peoples lives are somehow less than or pitiable is really harmful and leads to more violence and inequalities for us. So, I’d just like to ask everyone one thing: before you decide to feel sorry for someone in a wheelchair (or any other disability), stop to consider the fact that maybe, just maybe, they’re perfectly happy and content.