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  • Writer's pictureKate Walker

"I Could Never" Isn't True

Something that people often tell me is that they could never be in my position. They could never drive with their hands. Never learn to take apart a wheelchair. Never survive the pain caused by a neuromuscular disease. Etc.

It's not true. You would learn to do those things if you didn't have an option. I didn't have an option and I am simply living the life that I have been handed. Just like you are. Just because my struggles might be more visible than someone else's doesn't mean that I have this miraculous and inspirational strength. Everybody is overcoming the obstacles that life is throwing at them everyday. Mine are just more obvious than most.

The way that life works is that challenging things happen and you just have to learn to work with it. The reality is that you can't hide in a closet from all of your problems forever. Eventually, you have to learn to face them.

Here's an example that isn't related to a disability. Let's say you don't have enough money to make rent this month. This is an obstacle that life has handed (or really thrown tbh) at you. So you work with it. You learn to use coupons on groceries, to make your own coffee in the morning, to walk instead of using gas. These are all things you do to FIGURE IT OUT. You didn't ask not to be able to pay rent. It just happened.

Relating this back to my situation. I was diagnosed with a rare, neuromuscular disease. I had trouble having enough coordination in my feet to drive. So I learned to drive with my hands. I wanted to be able to ride in my friend's cars. So I learned how to take apart my wheelchair. I started to have pain in my lower body. So I learned what medications and strategies help. I do what I have to do to FIGURE IT OUT. I didn't ask to have a rare disease so I could build this "inspiring strength." It just happened, so I'm doing what I have to do to survive.

My go to response when someone tells me that they could never be in my position is this:

"You would if you had to."

I don't have an option. Just like the person in my rent example didn't have an option. Try to remember that we are ALL dealing with obstacles/challenges. Whether the thing life handed you is visible or not, I know you are fighting to survive and learning to overcome the obstacles. Keep going. You're awesome.

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