Independence. What does that one single word mean to you?
Most people take their Independence for granted – that’s ok because not everyone will stop and think about how in their every day life they are free to make decisions and act on them. Like being thirsty their ability to make themselves a drink, annoyed or bored by something or someone free to walk away, need the toilet to go looking for one and if a big hairy spider sits in the middle of the living room floor staring you down you can run away screaming and waving your arms like an idiot or just grab hetty the Hoover!
From the moment we’re born this is the first glimpse along the road to Independence from our first attempts at crawling, right up until our bodies don’t want to play at life anymore. We gain abilities to explore, learn and interact with our surroundings and other people – these are all hugely important parts of shaping who we are and understanding the world – right?
Learning the value of independence throughout our lives. We grow from dependent babies into ‘hands into everything’ exploring toddlers through to ’know it alls’ rebellious teenagers, finally making our way as independent adults into the big wide world.
But wholeheartedly most people won’t have even given the process a second thought, and like I said before that ok because why would you unless life didn’t quite go as it was meant to.
What if that Independence wasn’t there anymore due to an injury, an illness or a disability that didn’t disappear? Your environment would suddenly be your biggest enemy, that drink and toilet suddenly become unreachable.
This is my world along with thousands of others – I have a Progressive muscle-wasting condition called Myofribillar Myopathy muscular dystrophy – my experience of an independent world has greatly changed over the years growing up learning how to function as a free independent adult to now experiencing solely reliant on other adults for my Independence. In a way as each year passes I’m missing out on far more than just being mobile.
To me freedom is definitely more than just a state of mind my powered wheelchair symbolises freedom, independence and empowerment. It gives me that sense of control back in a life that I have to solely rely on others for help, it enables me to see the world differently but still see the world, I know first hand just how much difference the right wheelchair can make to one person’s life. It may only look like a piece of equipment with wheels you sit your bum into to you, but it’s this bit of equipment that gives me my legs back. So yes this bit of equipment is so important and key to having my freedom and independence.
What gives your freedom and Independence I’d love to hear from you leave me a comment.
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