It’s a lot of work to be friends with me.
Now I’m not saying I’m not lots of fun and totally worth it, but it IS A LOT OF WORK TO BE MY FRIEND.
People have to walk slower when they’re with me. It’s just part of the wheelchair gig.
The staring is a phenomenon that you just have to get used to, but it happens. A lot. It was part of the reason I wore dark sunglasses in NYC. It’s better to get an occasional look for being the douchebag who wears sunglasses indoors than to deal with the stares and freaked out kids looking at my zombie-eye on top of the effects of the strokes.
I suck at being in crowds. I’m much better one-on-one or in small groups where I can hear you. My speech pattern means I speak slower and softer than most so I’m often silent in large groups. My wheelchair means I’m so much shorter than others and I already have vision issues. I’m 50% deaf and about 50% blind (right now), so that adds up to me being 100% awesome!
When I go out places I try not to be extra work. I hate to ask anyone to cut my food. I feel 3yo. I’ll order what I can eat, not always what I want.
I feel I’m always apologizing and thanking people. They don’t know why.
I’m not sorry about the strokes or the effects. They’re not my fault and I do my best regardless. I’m sorry for the inconveniences people suffer on my behalf.
I’m always grateful when someone knows it won’t be easy or simple, but choose to be my friend anyway.
It makes me BE a better friend because I know what they have undertaken.