They say dog is a man’s best friend, but since I’ve had my disability, I’ve found my best friends are the disabled ones. There’s nothing like having a friend who knows exactly where you’re coming from and the road you’re on. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this immediately. I avoided anyone in a wheelchair, in fact. I felt like I didn’t belong to that “group” of people. Little did I know that such a great thing was before me, if I would only give it a chance.
My first friend in a wheelchair was Andrea. We went to high school together. It was weird, before my injury, I was so uncomfortable around her. I never knew what to say to her because she was the only person I knew in a wheelchair. After my injury though, and going back to high school, it was so weird to now be like her.
But after feeling strange about it, I decided to befriend her. I knew she would be one of the few people I went to school with who could understand what I was going through – trying to find a table in the cafeteria, getting stuck in the snow, dating and all the weird wheelchair elements that went with it. And I was right, even though she had CP, she accepted me like no other person in my school.