Would you be surprised that walking again is not my priority in life now? It was, many years ago, when I first became a tetraplegic. I did work very hard to walk. It took a tremendous amount of effort. I did walk but only with the support of parallel bars.
After sustaining injuries to my back and knee for overworking myself, and not being able to walk independently still, even with crutches, I had a realisation that I could put the amount of energy and time to better use. I did not give up. Rather, my outlook in life changed.
I did not want to be just waiting for that elusive day when I could walk again while putting the rest of my life on hold. I wanted to live again. That was when I decided to move on in life. The wheelchair was no longer the shackles that imprisoned me but an implement that improved my mobility. I may not be able to walk but with the wheelchair I could go places.
I worked towards becoming more independent and depended less on my mother for my activities of daily living. I began to wear more fashionable clothes instead of baggy clothes because those were easier to put on. I yearned for a wheelchair that was lighter and more fitting. I made plans to go travelling and see the world.
What a world of difference my life became after that. Although the changes were gradual, I became a happier person. I no longer felt miserable because I could not walk. Life is a struggle still. Barriers abound every step of the way but I chose to see the positive side of things instead of moping for what I could no longer do.
Maybe they will find a cure for spinal cord injury in my lifetime, maybe they will not. I am not going to spend my life waiting for that. No, walking is no longer important to me. Making the best with what I have is. There is a world out there waiting for me to discover and discover it I will.
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