Take a Sad Song and Make it Better.

Adapting to change is usually a difficult process. We often like to stay in our comfort zone. That way we don’t have to take any unnecessary risks or encounter difficulties that might prove inconvenient for us. Personally, I have always been a person who is perfectly content to maintain the status quo. Perhaps, this is out of fear. I don’t always enjoy letting others into my inner sanctum. You could say I am like Superman and his Fortress of Solitude. However, I am not a “man of steel.” I have doubts, fears, and insecurities. I have let these hold me back from experiencing many of the things life has to offer. This was especially true when I was younger.

When I was a teenager, girls were my kryptonite. I was perfectly fine hiding behind the walls of my fortress. If I didn’t take any chances then there was no opportunity to get hurt. I approached many of my relationships like this as I grew into adulthood. I’d only let people in so far, never letting them see the real me. I think for a long time I wasn’t even sure who the “real me” was. However, as I reached my 20’s I began to feel like a change needed to occur. I was tired of hiding.

I’ve always enjoyed the music of Pink Floyd. As an angst-ridden teen I could relate to the lyrics of many of their songs. There is a line in a song from their album The Wall that seemed to fit my life perfectly. The name of the song is called “Waiting for the Worms.” The line is: “In perfect isolation here behind my wall.” That is how I often felt as a teen. I was putting walls up around myself so that I’d never have to take risks. Risks, after all, might lead to heartbreak. Therefore, The Wall became the soundtrack for my teenage years. With its themes of abandonment and isolation I felt it perfectly described who I was at the time.

However, no one can truly live their life in such a way and be happy. I realized this after about a year of counseling, which I went through in my early twenties. I had a counselor who helped me to see that it was okay to let others in to my life. The walls could come down. I no longer had to seek out “perfect isolation.” It was okay to be me.

With this new found freedom, I began to open up to new experiences. I even began to date. This is something that I thought I’d never do. For, I used to ask myself “who would want to date a man who walked with crutches, and had other physical challenges?” Fortunately, this was only a misconception. I did find that there were people that wanted to be my friend, and there were even ladies who wanted to date me. I even found one that said “yes” when I asked her to marry me!

I have been married to Amanda for 7 years now. There are times when I still want to hide behind some walls. However, I think we are all like that at times. Together, Amanda and I are about to break down a huge wall. We will soon be foster parents. As I type this tonight, we are getting bedrooms ready to welcome children who need love and support. We are both ready for this challenge.

In the coming days and weeks, bunk beds will be assembled, walls will be painted, and Amanda will pass her FBI background check, at least we hope! The next few months will be all about breaking down walls. I am sure there will be children who will come through our door feeling much the same way I did as a young person. I think maybe we’ll put The Wall away in the closet and pull out some Beatles music instead. After all, it is time to “take a sad song and make it better.” For those who missed that reference, stop reading this and go listen to the song “Hey Jude.” On second thought just stay right here, sit back and watch the video below.

Published by rtb77

I am a 43 year old male who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. I have been married to my incredible wife Amanda for 7 years. We live in Illinois and both work in government jobs. I enjoy reading, writing, and watching Chicago Cubs baseball. I also enjoy the absurdity that daily life often brings, especially to those with disabilities. I try to see the humor in these situations. If you are offended by the use of the word “crippled” in the title of this blog please read the first post. I don’t like the word crippled and have never considered myself as such. Furthermore, I have never wanted to stand out from others. However, my intent is to show how humor has helped me deal with the hardship of disability. Likewise, I want to show others how full a life one can lead, even if you happen to be disabled. The use of the word “crippled” for the title is meant to be a bit of irony.

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