Walking Does Not Define Happiness

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Every article I have written so far has had a purpose. A gained insight for the reader. That is, and has been, the motive of all my pieces I put out there. Today’s topic is no different; however, I will warn you that what I’m about to put on the table is such an eye rolling opinion for one to have…but it’s ok. I am going to clear up all the confusion.

As we wheelchair users know, there is a lot of talk and thoughts that goes around, just in general, about how awful, depressing, pointless, painful, and <Insert here any word you can think of that defines misery> our lives are when we are not able to use our legs. A lot of times I think people who do walk aim to keep these beliefs to themselves so they don’t come off as disrespectful, but trust me, you surely will run into a few who have no problem telling you what they think to be true.

HOW THEY LOOK DOWN ON US FOR LIVING THE WAY WE DO

Its nothing new to my ears. I’m well aware that a majority feel very bad for me, which coincidentally, I’ve stated in a previous article. The reason people feel so bad for us to begin with is actually not all that complex. It’s a simple thought they have, which is assuming if you can not feel or move your legs, no way in heck will you ever be able to be genuinely happy with life.

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I know for a FACT, anyone who has befriended, or is related to an individual who is paralyzed or wheelchair bound in general, is well aware that we CAN be happy.

WE ARE HAPPY

Above all, we LOVE the life we have been given, even if it took some time to get to this point. I am so fortunate to be able to say that I am PROUD to be on wheels and to roll through a grocery store or down the street and let the world see me laughing with my friends.

Many may be stumped for a moment, wondering how in the world somebody on wheels could ever have a reason to laugh, then swallow the fact that maybe, just maybe, life this way is not worse than a death sentence after all.

Sitting down everyday and rolling around will get more attention than the average human being, and with that I take great pride in knowing that more people will remember the girl with the chair had a SMILE on her face.Sure this can appear to be beyond the end of the world to some, but to those of us in this situation, it has opened a door to a world most will never be able to know. A world in which we don’t take physical abilities for granted. A world where we come to see that we never needed to be able to wiggle our toes in order to have a life that is worth living.

A WORLD WHERE WE CAN LAUGH WHEN ANYONE SAYS IF THEY COULDN’T USE THEIR LEGS THEY WOULD NOT KNOW HOW TO EXIST ANYMORE

 The nightmare does not begin with losing your ability to walk, it begins with developing a toxic mindset. If you have the ability to think and, better yet, a mind that can look past a superficial lifestyle, then you really are set to accomplish whatever you wish to do or be; doubt will not be able to settle in. Not permanently anyway. Consider yourself ahead in the game of life. You are on a level of which most people would have a very hard time finding their way.

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT

That is my opinion on such a horrible stereotype that has been made. My hope is those who walk will get a chance to see this so their horizons can be expanded…and those who, like me have a wheelchair as their sidekick, will remember that we are living an extraordinary life, one of value, that not everyone will be able to understand.

And never, ever forget, just because the beauty can’t be seen by every eye does not mean it’s not real and it’s not there…We will continue to show the world what we are made of by standing strong even when we can’t stand at all.

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Courtney Cirabisi

Courtney Cirabisi is a 23 year old who lives in Michigan. She became reliant on a wheelchair for everyday mobility after she was child abused by her dad back in 1993, resulting with a spinal cord injury. She’s big on writing, acting, video editing and thrives on showing people that life doesn’t stop when you aren’t walking. Courtney knows that the mind is the most important thing a person can have, and with that knowledge she is able to confidently go about living her day to day life. She is currently working on a memoir about her life and hopes to have it out on shelves one day.

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