Its been 8 years since my accident which resulted in a spinal cord injury when I fell from a first floor window. I know - it sounds so stupid, right? It just didnt seem high and I guess I was being a little careless/ wreckless. I was a in a really good place in my life. I've never been an overly confident person, but I was comfortable in my own skin. I had plenty if friends, a boyfriend and was due to begin my final year of social work in a few weeks.
But all that changed in a matter of seconds
I can't remember the fall, maybe I blocked it out. I do remember lying at the bottom of the building with the dewy wet grass in my hair. I wasn't in any pain, I think due to shock. Infact there wasn't a mark on me. Anyway, the long and short of it is that I was told in no uncertain terms that I would never walk again.
I guess I went through the normal grieving process
I experienced loss, anger, blamed others, I blamed myself, I threw major tantrums. I truly believed my life was over. And in my darkest days , I attempted to take my own life, resulting in me being on life support for 3 days. When I was brought round, I looked around dazed and confused at the distraught faces of those close to me and felt disgusted with myself. I knew I had a second chance and I was gonna take it. I didnt want to die. I could see in that moment of clarity, how much I had to live for. Its taken me many years to begin to truly enjoy life again. To accept my condition, to believe that I would laugh again. To believe that I could be loved, that I was worthy of love
But I am
I've had the most amazing support network of family and friends. I went back and finished my degree. I got married two years ago in Thailand to the most amazing man who is my absolute rock. I stopped lounging around in jogging bottoms and no make up and I started to buy clothes that I loved. The make up was back on. I started doing things I enjoyed. e.g. I found a yoga Class that I could take part in. I knew then I was a survivor and I wouldn't be going down without a fight. I finally believed life could be good once again .
Beauty is for everyone
In truth, it took me years before I could look at myself in the mirror. I spent years cropping my wheelchair out of photos. I even missed weddings, etc. in case I bumped into people outside my own little circle which I had created. However, I can now see that a wheelchair doesnt mean that you aren't beautiful or worthless or an embarrassment. I learned to embrace how I looked. My new body. My new wheels. I now love shopping and finding clothes just right for me, that look good on me. My disability doesn't define me, but I have come to accept that it is a part of me. I have begun the process of learning to love myself once again.