Walking on the Beach

Afraid I’ll Forget What It’s Like to Walk

There is without question a universal fear all people with acquired disabilities have – the fear that we will forget what it was like to once be able-bodied; what it was like to walk, to run up stairs, to climb into a car in a few seconds, to feel water running down your leg, to be treated like everyone else.

Oh the ease of being completely able-bodied.  There are so many good things they get in on. Maybe that’s the frustration when you have an acquired disability. You truly understand what you’re missing out on. It’s hard to get over this. So so hard.

It’s like having millions of dollars and then losing it all. You can never quite be 100% happy with that hovel in the ground when you remember that Malibu mansion you once had. Hypnotherapy… now maybe that’s the solution.

But despite this frustration, it seems that most people with acquired disabilities still do not want to forget the ease of their previous able-bodied life. The feeling they project is quite similar to the one people had hundreds of years ago before photographs were invented and when one of their loved-ones died. They were deathly afraid they would forget what they looked like, sounded like, etc.

This was the ultimate fear…to forget, and people with acquired disabilities are much the same. I realize this doesn’t make any sense, and I can’t explain it, but I feel the same way too. I guess it’s just part of my history. It belongs to me…my past..and even though it’s difficult to remember, it’s part of who I am and that is why I do not want to forget.

Sometimes I have to confess though that I’m beginning to forget what it was like to walk. It’s been 20 years. That’s a very long time to not walk.

I know I’m beginning to truly forget some of the core components because my equilibrium is all out of whack whenever I am up at a high level. I get vertigo. Everything gets dizzy like I’ve been on some amusement park ride. It seems totally unnatural to be that high up, and I know I didn’t feel this way before…

I’m also afraid I’ll forget what it was like to dance. Sometimes I’ll rehearse dance steps in my mind and move my limbs knowing my legs won’t respond, but I do it anyways because it feels like it did before, in my mind, and I can’t help but feel this is something that’s helpful.

Maybe it’s not helpful, but if a cure does arrive before I die, maybe this will help me remember the polka, the Times Step, the Buffalo and everything else my childhood dance classes taught me. Or maybe not, and that’s ok. At the end of the day it just feels really good to remember.

What do you feel on this subject? Is it too hard to remember? Would you rather forget? Or are you doing everything you can to remember? If you’re trying to remember, what do you do to help this along?

There is no right answer – to remember or not remember – it’s all about your preferred coping method. I just find this tug-of-war in my mind a strange battle and I wonder if anyone out there feels the same.

Do you want to remember?

Photo courtesy of Flickr CC

2 replies
  1. Lauren Perkins
    Lauren Perkins says:

    I hate the thought of forgetting what it feels to walk, to dance, to feel my feet in the sand at the beach while the ocean rushes in and washes over them. How it feels to stand in heels! I can only dream. I still go to the beach and watch as the water buries my feet in the sand trying to remember that special feeling of the water sucking them deeper. I want to remember all. The last links to what was ” normal” I can only retain in my mind. It becomes more difficult every day!

  2. Michael
    Michael says:

    Ive just faced the facts and am very thankful to have a nice wheelchair…its a part of my life so walking dont cross my mind much…my friend has said his legs were tired and he wished he had a nice chair to zoom around in…I was thinking, no you dont…the worst part is all the stuff I go through thats just a part of my life now…the wheelchair is the easy part

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