having my own apartment is really great and all, but i've spent years putting a blind eye to certain things i didn't want to acknowledge, things i have "confidently" reassured others would never be a problem. i like to tell myself i'll never have to deal with these things, but of course on my very first night by myself, i felt like an idiot when i finally faced a long-time concern. i don't live alone, but i recently spent my first night of all time completely alone. no parents or sisters upstairs, no roommates or dormmates. which meant, if i just happened to fall out of my wheelchair onto the ground, i would have no one there to help my weak little body get back into it.
needless to say, when my manly man roommate went on his camping weekend man-trip, i ended up on the floor of my apartment at 4am after i lost my grip as my chair slowly slid away from the bed. there was not a soul nearby to help, and the first thought to pop into my head was an argument with my dad only hours before when i was too impatient to fix the brake on my chair that did not work and how convinced i was that i could deal with a non-working brake (hence the reason that you have not heard this story until reading this now, mom and dad...)
it was emotionally draining and i had not a clue how to resolve it, even though it should be one of many things a wheelchairy person should know how and be able to do. i was on the ground and my bed seemed higher than ever. i was a serious mess of tears, emotions, anger, and hopelessness, all those overdramatic feelings. i attemted to lift my dead weight up and onto the bed but i wasn't even halfway. i piled some pillows under my butt to lessen the height back up to the bed, but flattened pillows weren't much of a help. i finally faced my chair head on, raised my legs up and placed them onto the seat of my chair. i figured since i can't lift my lower half myself, it might help to have it already elevated a bit. lucky for me, (though still after much struggle and frustration) i grabbed my night stand with one hand and the bed with the other, and lifted my limp body up and backwards onto the bed. it actually worked.
i've been asked dozens of times what i'd do if i fell out of my chair. my response has always been that it would be fine and that i would never be alone anyway. that is a flat out lie i've always told myself, considering i was often alone even before moving out. but i stayed in my little fantasy world and just assumed i would never have to deal with getting into a wheelchair, from the ground, by myself. reality check. we all need one sometimes.
i'm sure most disabled people must be more prepared than me (at least i really hope they are). and i know it was fully my fault and my ignorance and my stupidity, but i can't help but feel proud of myself for actually succeeding, for actually finding a way to overcome a concern/fear that i've been avoiding for years and years and years. it wasn't so bad...