By Mark E. Smith
There’s rebelliousness, a lawlessness that goes with living with disability – especially when we’re doing it phenomenally well. After all, if we’re going to succeed with disability, it requires us so often to defy common logic, throw caution into the wind, and go where others would never dare. We taunt diagnoses and prognoses, and defy that which gets in our way. And, there’s a charm to it all, where even while others initially think we’re out of our league trying to pull off the seemingly impossible, when they see us do it, they realize how death-defiantly determined we are to succeed, no matter the challenge.
And, for many of us, make no mistake, death-defying ties into it – literally. Everyone says that none of us can escape death; however, some of us have, and others of us continue doing so – and it’s the ultimate rebellious spirit within us that’s enkindled. In my case, I wasn’t supposed to live past a few days after birth; in other cases, my peers weren’t supposed to live from the accident scene to the hospital; and, in yet other cases, I have friends who’ve long outlived their prognoses of progressive conditions. We all know that we’re going to die eventually, but the fact that we’ve already rebelled against it once and won is a heady start to addressing all other aspects of living. If you’ve looked death in the eyes, and mocked it – and there’s nothing more bad-ass than that! – the everyday mortal world should be a cake walk, where you write the terms as a true rebellion – and, most importantly, value what it means to truly live at a level few others dare. Break the rules, make the rules, and live life on your terms – period. Be an outlaw.