The biggest challenge was accessibility. The road to work was so bad for a wheelchair user. Especially it being a night job. I travelled at night. The potholes and rocky roads, contributed to serious back pain and the sweats. By the time I get to work, I was already tired.
It wasn’t good for the wheelchair which would jam by the time I got to work or home. I figured by the end of the season my wheelchair would be destroyed. I spoke to my boss and asked if a car could be provided. He offered to pick me up, to and from work. This made it so easy. I saw the importance of knowing what works best for me. Asking for help and speaking up for myself. To any disabled person, disadvantaged person, or even anyone in particular out there, never be afraid to find your voice. It’s always a plus when you work with people who understand you and some of your needs. I feel blessed to have worked with the most amazing people
At some point I thought of quitting. Everything felt overwhelming with the chronic pain. Not having enough sleep because of hot weather, which made it hard to sleep in the afternoon. I was fatigued most of the times. I also got a bladder infection. But I had to ignore all these challenges. No matter what and keep going. This was the only way to gain full independence and confidence. As well as strengthening my back. Unfortunately, because I ended up getting sick and my body failed me, I had to stay home. But until I get it right, I will keep challenging myself. All it takes is courage and not losing faith.
After the whole experience, I found out I know how to carry myself when I’ around people. I am not worried about going back into the world once again. I realized that no one really cares, and it’s me who has been caring too much. I have been listening to the voices in my head saying that I’m nothing anymore. I have brutalized myself for too long. I know I have to live my life. I should not be intimidated by anyone or anything. The world might not be so bad after all. It depends where I think I can go and how I see myself. Taking this job was eye opening. It made me realize I have potential to do anything, all I needed was a bit of motivation.
I’m still figuring out how my body can really fully adjust. What it needs. What it really means to be disabled. It’s unfortunate that I don’t know of support groups close by. The best I can do is to rely on google and read about other people’s experiences on social media platforms. Finding something to do brings peace. Going to work helped me a lot because I suffer from depression. It took my mind off things.
One thing I have come to realize is why so many disabled people are unemployed in my country due to discrimination. Society writing off most people because of what they look like. You find so many disabled people in the streets begging or vending. My wish is for society to see that we are also human, good, and strong enough. See our worth. The issue of inaccessibility plays a part for so many disabled people not getting employment. I would like to get into advocacy for my fellow disabled comrades to fight discrimination and for accessibility issues. I can’t wait to see the next chapter of my life.