Putting Myself First

I started writing as a way to clear my mind. It was a way to get some perspective on the “wobblier” thoughts in my head and permanently preserve already clear perspectives I’d attained in my day-to-day life. I started this all while lying in hospital only a few months after my life-changing accident. It replaced the therapeutic effects I used to get from drawing. And then, I discovered sharing some of the things in my head had an even more potent therapeutic effect. So, I started writing this blog. That was 7 years ago, and it worked… for a while. Things slowly started to change when I decided to make a career out of it. I ended up writing not just to gain clarity and perspective or because it made me feel good, but because I thought it was what “the readers” would want to read. Not entirely, just a few posts here and there scattered in with the things I did want to write. As time went on, my therapeutic hobby began turning more into a “job”. What I used to think of as just periods of time I didn’t feel like writing or just didn’t have anything to say became times when I had “writer’s block” or “wasn’t keeping up with content”. I even started to “miss deadlines”, forgetting that the only place any so-called “deadlines” truly existed was in my head. I forgot why I started writing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t for one second regret incorporating my writing into my career. In fact, my writing was the start of my career, and I love what I do. If I had never explored the potential power in my own words, I would never have reached as many people as I do now. I would never have started a YouTube channel, and I definitely would never have been blessed to work with the many amazing people in unique places that I have. There are no plans to stop writing the blog or posting videos on YouTube. In fact, I plan to expand how and where I put out content. Only this time, I won’t be beating myself up about it if I don’t post anything for a while. Going forward, I will try to primarily write or record when I feel like it, because I feel like it. And I say ‘primarily’ because I still plan on continuing what MY LIFE IN A CHAIR is all about: improving lives, differently-abled or otherwise, through my experiences.

Why now? Well…

Let’s just say the last 2 years have been a massive eye-opener, as it has for many people all over the world. For me, it was lesson after lesson reminding me not to take for granted all the amazing things I have to be grateful for in life. In that time, I discovered for the first time since my injury that I could build a career doing something I loved and already did for free; I took the biggest ever steps I have taken in independently managing my care since I began managing my care myself; and for the first time, I felt more in control of my life than at any point before. But then, I was forced to face the fragility of my mental health, something I had mostly avoided doing since the accident. And to top it all off, I tragically and unexpectedly lost my mom. I was then reminded of how lucky I am when I was pulled out of that hole by the people around me who love me, just by them being themselves. Thankfully, in an attempt to find my way through all the darkness, I kept looking for little pockets of light, and I kept finding them. Aside from the efforts of my friends and family, I found joy in random places I would have never thought to look. Little acts of kindness from others took on a whole new level of significance, and giving others the joy from my own acts of kindness became easier, adding to the many other outlets that helped with everything I was going through.

And it gets better.

As if to emphasise that life doesn’t wait for you to go through one thing before giving you another, more obvious good things also happened in the midst of all the bad. My brother got married to his beautiful wife, and they’ve now welcomed their first son into the world. I met a special someone of my own and am learning to just enjoy the ride rather than obsess over what used to feel like the inevitable “bubble-bursting”. I got on my first commercial flight in 14 years to my first actual holiday since getting injured. Two members of my family are now officially senior-level athletes with Team GB in their respective sports, as well as others achieving milestones that bring me so much joy and pride in being a member of my family. And I finally got a new wheelchair after 10 solid years in my old one. All this and so much more.

I could go on and on about so many things that have kept me from being as active on here in the last year, but the bottom line is that a lot has happened. A lot of bad but also a lot of good, both just as important as the other. But it’s all meant I had to prioritise my time differently from how I would have initially liked, and that’s okay. Life won’t always go the way you plan, but as long as you can maintain some level of balance, you can get through the bad and hold onto the good for as long as possible.

A big part of why I was able to weather the storms of the last year was that when things got tough, I could allow myself to let go of certain things I didn’t need in order to focus more on getting myself sorted. It meant I could spend more time around people who could help me heal. I had more freedom to step back and look at the bigger picture, spot things I might have missed, and see how some of the issues were a lot less significant than I initially thought. Unfortunately, that also meant taking a step back from My Life In A Chair and a few other things. I know being able to just let go of specific pressures in life is easier said than done. A luxury not all of us can afford. But I also know I would never have been able to let go of things if I didn’t try. I’m glad I’m fortunate to have that as an option. I’m happy I took it when I did, and I’m grateful for the perspective it’s afforded me. And I would be silly not to act on the lessons that perspective has given me.

So, I’ll still be around, maybe a little less active but a lot more accessible. And if this all works out as I hope, when I do put something out there (be it a blog post, YouTube video, or any other format I choose to put something out in), it will be the best version possible. In the meantime, don’t be a stranger. Interacting with all of you might be the most fun part of all of this. Until next time, stay safe, stay blessed.


Published by pencilpicasso

Well hey there! If you're reading this then I'm assuming you want to know a bit about me. If I'm right YOU'RE IN LUCK!, if not then... well... I think you're lost. So without further ado, here goes. My full name's Ifeanyi Nwokoro, or Ify for short. I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and now live in the north-east of England. Like many I know, I moved here for Higher Education and have now settled here. It's a peaceful existence which I very much appreciate. And that's the basics of me. A few other key things you should probably know though: I was involved in a car accident in 2010 that left me "clinically" paralysed from the shoulders down. It's been a bit of a struggle but now in my mid-20's, I am very happy with the stability in every aspect of my life. So yes, I will be talking about my disability on here... a lot. Most of my topics will Revolve around things most important to me: family, good health, football, movies, animation, everything superhero related, care, everything vegetarian/pescatarian and of course, my physical condition. I love engaging conversation, welcome constructive criticism and am always open to suggestion So feel free to get in touch. ;)

Comment to your hearts content!