No Cape Needed

I told my friend I was going to climb onto this stump and do some crazy balancing thing. She was pretty scared about my falling. She mostly knows me as a wheelchair user. I got up there and she said, “no cape needed”.

I take people’s words sometimes and run with them. It’s usually just in my head, but I thought about the idea of not needing a cape and how it relates to strength.

I’m having surgery in 3 days that has some big implications. The surgery was just scheduled before the weekend. I have admitted to myself and another person that it’s causing me a bit of fear and anxiety.

In my few days leading up to my surgery, I have been very active outside. I always have amazing nutrition with my anti inflammatory diet, but I have been doing it perfectly as I had to stop all my supplements. The extremely healthy food and mindfulness it takes to do this has been spirit lifting.

I enjoy pushing past the barriers that my disabled body has thrown my direction. I loved standing on a wobbly log on one leg while my friend compared me to a superhero. My physical strength in disability is a reminder and boost of my mental strength.

“No cape needed” made me realize I can admit I’m afraid to whoever I want. I don’t have to be a perfect model of strength in a superhero. I don’t have to smile and find the “silver lining” in what’s coming. I don’t have to be the smiling little girl who wasn’t expected to be anything but happy no matter how traumatic my growing up experience was.

So you might question if this is a fake smile in my picture. I will say it 100% is not. As I have explained to a handful of people lately when they ask how I can look so bright when life can be so hard. I simply say, “I live with one foot in joy, and the other foot in grief”. In being in both those places, you can simultaneously feel heavy and light. If I lived with both feet in grief, I couldn’t stand on my one foot in joy and smile genuinely.



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