Getting Stronger

Getting Stronger

Sooo lately it has been kind of hard for me…I have been getting kind of down about the whole wheelchair thing. I know I shouldn’t…but it is just real life that I do.  That doesn’t mean that I would take this accident back for anything, because I truly appreciate everything that it has taught me and everything that has come from it…but it is still something that can be really hard for me at times.

Even six years later…. there is still that little bit of sadness in the back of my mind, and I do my best not let it bother me…It is only a little bit compared to the pain and sadness I used to feel..but it is always there, underlying everything in my life.

I think it is just seeing school starting back up again and all the college students coming back onto campus, running around and having fun.

It is just hard for me to not notice the way that people look at  (or don’t look at) me or my other friends that are in wheelchairs…I know the stigma that is attached to being in a wheelchair, and I know the way that the majority of society can view us….

I can see them smiling and thinking “that is so cute” as me and another friend in a wheelchair cross the street together or go to the mall together. …and I can see them laugh and point at us from their cars, thinking it looks funny. There is a lot of other things I see…but I don’t really feel like writing them all out. (Because what I have heard too many times is “Megan, are you sure it is not just in your head?” and yes I am sure. I am not ignorant to the ways of the world. And yes, I also know that not everyone looks at me like that, and I am really thankful for those people in the world that are so sincere and real and compassionate, and fun, and just overall…not heartless and brainwashed and instead understand how to treat a person like a real person and actually tries to put themselves in others shoes and think about how they would feel if they were in that situation. And I am so incredibly thankful, that because of the wheelchair, I am so easily able to recognize those amazing people in the world and have such a greater appreciation for them.

It is hard to always keep your head up and have confidence….it is not easy to always be strong…. I feel like I have to be strong all the time when I go out into public and push around. I know it is getting a little easier each day…. I just hope there will come a day that I will be able to feel completely comfortable with who I am…or not even completely comfortable with who I am, because I know that no one ever really is…. but at least not let myself feel uncomfortable or feel like I am any less than anyone else just because I am in a wheelchair.

I have had a few friends, or just other people I know that are in wheelchairs, talk about how they have never had a boyfriend, or even gone on a date and they know a big reason why is because the wheelchair…

And I know this is true… and so when I think about this…I think about how amazing the guy that I end up with really is going to be.  And that makes me happy.

… overall…this is just me explaining a part of my life to you…just something I am going through and will eventually make it all the way through. It is all a part of the process. The person I want to be is a strong person that can rise above all of this and know what is truly important in life. And that is exactly what the wheelchair is teaching me. And it helps that I really like a challenge….  😉 Cuz this is a pretty big challenge 😛 haha

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Comments
Val Hudman
Val Hudman Thanks Megan for sharing your feelings with everyone, it reminds us all to be more mindful of how we look at others, not only those who different than ourselves but everyone. I still say “You’re an AMAZING young woman” and I am inspired by your honesty and strength. xoxo
Megan Blunk
Megan Blunk Thanks Val 🙂
Alaisa Petersen
Alaisa Petersen That is so well written Megan. I know many other puerile find you to be an inspiration and I’m so proud that you see this more as a blessing than something terrible that happened to you. You are such an amazing woman!
Jackie Heinrich
Jackie Heinrich Hang in there Megan, this too shall pass you are a very strong young lady
Bobby Reinhart
Bobby Reinhart Your past, present, and future experiences are filters for you. They’ll always provide you with more perspective than most. Just remember during the tough days that because of your life experiences, you are afforded more insight than most. Just know that those around you are genuine and support you every step of the way. My mom still has days like that from time to time, but says she’s better for them. Good luck this semester! You’re gonna kill it!
Jill Peters
Jill Peters Megan, that was really written, and maybe your calling will be to write and share these feelings, that are common in all people. You mentioned being comfortable in your own skin, and I think we all feel that way whether it is because if a wheelchair, or obesity, or a birth defect, or even the color of our skin. Voicing those thoughts are an important step to getting to that point of comfort, as well as teaching others to be more accepting of the differences amongst us. It’s never a bad thing to voice your feelings this way. Nobody can be strong 100% of the time, and I believe that it’s that vulnerability that makes us human. I think the trick is to see the challenges, name them ,and then taking the steps to overcome them, until the next one comes around. That’s how we grow and become the best person that we can be, and do the best we can with the life we are given. You are a blessing, and if you really take stock of how far you have come, and yet how far you will go, it’s truly amazing. But don’t be afraid of voicing your fears and challenges, because that helps the rest of us grow as well. You are good at this, and not talking about it, and always trying to put a brave face on doesn’t help anyone including yourself. Your voice needs to be heard, and someday you will know why, and you will be amazed.
Tracey Drebin Merrill
Tracey Drebin Merrill Funny, how life is. I always think people are looking and pointing at my fat body. When I saw you at the store the other day, I was AMAZED how everyone….simply EVERYONE knew you! I go there all the time, and usually have people who DO know me, sorSee More
Tracey Drebin Merrill
Tracey Drebin Merrill When the recent Olympian who was paralyzed below the waist was released from the hospital, I was thinking, “She needs to spend a week with Megan” so you can show her to realities of it all, the good, the hard, the wins, the losses. You should call her and take her out.
Tracey Drebin Merrill
Tracey Drebin Merrill I won’t discount the chair being a barrier for so many things for you, I certainly know it can be, and is….being a nurse I know how hard it is to lug those thing all around and load them up and out. So heavy. But others have barriers of crappy attitudes, massive baggage and unattractive spirits. They can change their barriers, but won’t. You took your barrier and moved forward, achieving more than most do in a year of exercise. I suggest you take your down moments, let them have a time in your heart, then go back at what brings you joy. And know that so many of us love watching your accomplishments and successes. Even if it makes me feel lazy….lol….it’s still fun to see you win.
John Harkness
John Harkness I can only speak for myself, but the few times I had the opportunity to train with you what I saw was an amazing athlete, a great attitude, and a kind person!!! Those are the things that define you.
Ashley Bowen
Ashley Bowen You’re one amazing woman Megan. Don’t forget all the people you have affected in a positive way by your strength & determination. You have proven you can do anything you put your mind to. You are strong!
William Michael Paul
William Michael Paul LIttle Sister Megan, such a powerful letter of honesty and love…. I am overwhemed that you make youself so vulnerable to the world… I remember meeting you in the Gig and you took the time to have a picture taken together…. I have never forgot that and from that I have never stopped praying for you… You are the most amazing person that I have ever had the honor to meet…. I lost my only daughter to cancer 3 years ago. ( 36 years old ) She had your smile and the same love for people and life that you have and share with others… ( this is why I stopped to say hello and have the picture taken ) All my love in Christ, Bro Bill xoxo
Megan Blunk
Megan Blunk Thank you all! That all made me feel really good to read! Bobby Reinhart…I remember first meeting you in Psych and talking to you outside about how hard things were for me and you told me about your mom and encouraged me to keep pushing forward. You were one of the first few people I met at school….and I am really thankful I did because even just those one or two conversations we had helped me so much more than you even know. And Jill Peters in the beginning, when I was first figuring all of this new life out…one of the first things I started noticing and telling myself is that we all have disabilities in one way or another, and I even sometimes think that the ones we can’t see can be the hardest ones because people have a harder time understanding them. And I do want to write and share the things that I go through more with everyone…but yeah, sometimes I am just kind of scared of putting myself out there so much. I used to be scared that if I told everyone what I was going through and the hard time I was having…that I might not make it through that hard time and then everyone would just know my insecurities and view me as a weak or a sad person all the time. I was scared of saying that I would make it through something that I might not make it through. And I was scared that people would take it any other way than the way I was saying it and they would worry about me, even though I knew I was going to be fine. But someday I hope I can find a way to put it all out there. And Tracey Drebin Merrill..I feel like nurses have this special sense…I have had so many encounters with these amazing people that tell me something so amazing in that it blows me away with how well I feel like they completely understand what I am going through and they tell me all of the pain they know I see and feel and the hardships and obstacles I face….and it makes me feel sooo incredibly comforted and good to know that person can see the things I go through and tell me so many things about myself………and after I am blown away and thinking “how does this person make me feel so good!!??” I find out they are or used to be a nurse. And they always make me tear up because they bring out such strong emotions. I remember when I was leaving the hospital for the first time after my accident and being there for 23 days….all the nurses that had been there for me through so much were all lined up in the hall waving to me and crying as they said said goodbye to me while the paramedics pushed me past them on the stretcher. It was a really powerful moment for me to see how much they all cared about me. I think nurses are truly angels….well except for the verrrrrry few bad ones. I think in all I only had like three of those in my whole experience between there and the nursing home. Those few were really good at making you feel like crap about yourself and the fact that you even need their help to begin with 😛 But the good ones….you never once feel bad about yourself, they only help you to feel better. And Alaisa Blunk I love ya sister!!!! 🙂 haha you should come stay with me for a weekend during a tournament or something!
Mark Watland
Mark Watland I only know you from following your basketball and kayak accomplishments, Megan. I’ve had an interest in the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team since I followed my friends’ daughter’s kayak successes several years ago. And as I’ve mentioned to you, I know someone who had a very successful wheelchair basketball career at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign many years ago. So it really caught my attention when I first read articles about you competing at the same university and also kayak. But after reading so many of the messages that you’ve shared with us on Facebook, I’ve learned what a beautiful soul you are and that’s much more visible than your chair. I always say that attitudes are very contagious and your positive attitude certainly is. I enjoy seeing people achieve great things but meeting genuinely good people like you who know how to pass on their positive spirit is what’s really been important in my life. Remember that occasionally feeling down and having a good cry is O.K and totally normal. It’s probably actually good to can get it out of your system so you can get on with your beautiful life. Thanks a million for sharing your thoughts with us, Megan.
Addie Killam
Addie Killam I can relate to this too. It can be easy to feel down so e days but when I have those days (fewer and fewer all the time) I try to focus on my true friends and those who don’t care if I have a down day once in awhile. Those are the people that realize I am still human since everyone has bad days here and there; what defines us is how we deal with those days and how we move on or don’t move on from them. A few weeks after my accident, when I didn’t see how life would get better, my mom told me it would be ok and said you know, life just gave you a lot of lemons-you’re going to have to make lemonade somehow. I hold her that I was going to need a lot of sugar! Six years later I feel like my lemonade is pretty sweet and only rarely bitter. What I’m getting at is that you should recognize, deal with, and leave the bitter days behind as you find a little more sugar for the next days. Sweet lemonade is much more refreshing anyways 😉
Adjusting to living with an SCI and instantly becoming a minority was hard and taught me a lot about a lot of things. Keep moving forward and keep breaking down barriers and hopefully society will see that it can be done and do the same. Just remember when the lemonade is bitter, it is ok to make the sour face, and look for more sugar!
Megan Blunk
Megan Blunk hahha Addie Killam I really like what you wrote! lol that’s funny…haha asking for a lot of sugar makes a lot of sense! 😛 lol and yeah, all the sudden, fully understanding what oppression means was pretty intense…but we are breaking down barriers and we are making a difference and we are zeee pioneers and that is what you just gotta remind yourself everyday 🙂
Shane Baker
Shane Baker Megan, you are permitted to feel a tiny bit sorry for yourself every now and then. Those of us who have never experienced what you have get depressed. There are those of us astounded by your drive and capabilities and wonder how we would do in a similar situation. Go to bed every night satisfied that you are an inspiration to everyone who knows you and a rock star.
Megan Blunk
Megan Blunk And William Michael Paul, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter…but I can tell that you have a really good attitude towards life and are healing in a really good way! 🙂
William Michael Paul
William Michael Paul Thank you Sis Megan… Yes, healing is a process and meeting you is part of that process. Again powerful letter of love and passion you wrote for us… Sis, it is ok to be down at times and it is ok to cry… After we cry our spirit soars!!!! xo
Ed Hawkins
Ed Hawkins So super woman some times you need to feel like us mortals. You are my inspiration ever day that I can lose the weight I need to lose. Mine is easy your life make me strong. Remember I’m always here to vent to. Love you keep strong.
Rick Belfoy
Rick Belfoy Very good Megan, the first step in problem solving is to know that a problem exists. And talking about it. That is the most I have seem you write about your situation. I do want to say that if it wasn’t for the wheelchair, I wouldn’t know you. And with your guts, determination, talent, athletic abilities, foresight, mental strength (and the list goes on and on) so many of us in Gig Harbor wouldn’t be enriched by you. You have done so much that has made us better people, has given us hope, has made us stronger individuals. Just from knowing you and your sensational exploits. Your a beautiful person and a beautiful woman. The guy that ends up with you will be the luckiest guy around. Thanks Megan for being you and what you do for us. Now go out and kick some ass!!
Jill Peters
Jill Peters You know Megan, that is a powerful statement, that we are afraid to make ourself vulnerable. Scary huh? But, opening up that part of yourself does not make you weak, but strong! You will be fine, I do believe, but it takes a village, and to be able to admit that you know sometimes life sucks, but tomorrow is another day, and you will make the best of it. You have never wanted anyone’s sympathy, just understanding that some days are harder than others, and you do not need anyone to fix it, but to just listen. keep it up because you are showing others that being human is universal. it’s so powerful to admit this. You are so young to have come to this understanding, and unfortunately, way too young to have to deal with all that you have. But, you have a destiny that is far beyond what you know. You do not need to be a poster child for one that has overcome. You just need to make your life what YOU want it to be. Be real, and do what makes you happy. Never settle, as I know you won’t but in the end you have this life, and make it yours not what people expect you to be.
Shanae Ryan
Shanae Ryan I love you. You are still you. You are just sitting down.

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