Feeling left behind

Being disabled and having to depend on someone to do a lot of tasks for you can often be difficult. It makes growing up difficult because you are never truly alone. For this reason, I often feel stuck between feeling like a child and still be considered an adult. It is like you are both an adult and a child at the same time.

A lot of my independence and ability to grow has come from getting equipment. Items such as my wheelchair were a defining point of independence. I no longer needed to be moved from different areas but could rather do that myself. Wheelchairs with more advanced features are more angled towards independence. Such as my adjustable footrests, which give me the ability to make myself more comfortable instead of having to request that they be moved.

Some things that normal people would consider small were defining moments in finding my independence. Having friends and older siblings who can do more for me helps. I managed to have my first outing with friends at 19. We went on vacation without my parents when I was 25. This has allowed me to feel as if I have grown up.

It is often difficult to picture myself achieving or doing some of the activities that people my age are doing. For example, I know I cannot move out of the home. It’s often really difficult as I feel like I’m being left behind. I’ve always wanted to be considered an equal. It is hard to be equal when you feel that you are not on the same level as your friends. The comparison has been a part of being a twin and I have to stop myself from comparing our lifestyles and our achievements.

When I take time to reflect on how far I have come, it makes me hopeful about my future adventures and proud of how much I have achieved in my life already. I have so much going on and so much to be grateful for that it is important to focus on the positive rather than the negative. I can make it happen, and I know that I have the greatest support system behind me.

Life is a beautiful adventure, and I cannot wait to see what different opportunities it has in store for me.

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