[This post is more of a personal one for myself. I wrote this a few nights ago when I was pretty riled up. Looking back, it doesn't really make much sense. It also sounds kinda wimpy. I apologize for that.]
After my accident, I never thought I would be anywhere close to “normal”. What I mean by that is that I never thought I’d be able to do things that other people were doing. I had so many things going for me pre-accident. That sounds cocky, but I think I can say that now because I am not that person anymore and I do not have that life.
Now, things are much more difficult. Aside from the obvious physical obstacles of doing certain things, it seems like there is much more to overcome than simply “not being able to walk”. Thankfully, I am getting stronger and stronger and doing things is becoming much easier. The biggest obstacle to face? The perceptions of other people.
People have a natural tendency to look down upon me—literally (because I am usually sitting while they are standing) and figuratively. As a person with a handicap, people consider my life to be handicapped. How can poor Hammad do things on his own? He can’t do that! He can’t be a doctor!
I could explain where this mentality comes from, but I’ll save that for a different post.
Basically, right now I am upset because I heard something that someone said about me. Having a handicap in one area forces me to work ten times harder than everyone else in order to compensate for this deficiency. This is something I had to realize several months ago. I was definitely “good enough” for people pre-accident. Post-accident, however, I became sub-par. Friends, parents, and people who I thought I would talk to for forever all started to treat me as if I was a low class, low intelligence, weak little boy.
What does this do to me? It forces me to work much harder than everyone I know to get past this. I may not be able to beat you in a race, but I will still work my butt off so I don’t turn into a fat slob. I may not be the best “catch”, but I will now work hard to be better than the rest of my class in medical school. It takes me longer to do certain things, but that just means I’ll have to not waste time in other situations. Life is now “life + 20 minutes”.