Lying alone on an operating room gurney while waiting for emergency surgery is probably not the best time for introspection. Yet when I recently found myself in this situation thanks to some militant hemorrhoids, my mind immediately pulled up a list of Ian’s Deepest Thoughts and I started soul-searching.
On top of obvious questions — How the hell did I end up here? How am I going to get through this? — others that kept popping up centered on NEW MOBILITY and my job. Specifically, what in the world is the editor of a magazine for “active wheelchair users” doing incapacitated in a hospital? And, am I even fit for this role?
These questions aren’t new to my cluttered brain. From the time I stepped into Tim Gilmer’s oversized shoes almost three years ago, the same thoughts lingered in my head’s deep recesses, coming to the fore most frequently when my health is flagging, or life and the world seem overwhelming.
I’ve even had friends and family members who’ve seen me struggle through tough times read the magazine and ask me if its depiction of life with SCI/D meshes with my experience. When things aren’t going my way, it’s easy to lose focus on all the things I love about my life and I wonder if they’re onto something.
There’s no question that living with a disability can be difficult, overwhelming and even depressing. We’re so conditioned to that portrayal of disabled life by mainstream society that it’s easy to lose track of the reality that life without a disability can be just as difficult, overwhelming and depressing.
In hard times, it’s easy to forget that nondisabled people don’t have a corner on happiness and fun. In fact, I think you could make a pretty good argument that they don’t have as deep an appreciation of life as we do.
All of these thoughts were bouncing through m