It's an interesting read, but, as usual, I could resist turning the jewel upside-down in my reply to Carter ...
The question really boils down to the one asked by the friend: "How do you do it?"
Well, you do. Or you don't.
Don't will kill you eventually, probably via a "nursing home."
Do can be accomplished in ways beyond numbering. I know people with other mobility-impairing disabilities -- or with disabilities that have wadded up normality and given it back to them -- and it seems (careful with that word, Gary) the disability is the planet about which they orbit.
I apparently (careful with this word too, Gary, because it is hardly a dispassionate self-assessment) operate more akin to the spoon lady. Let's say that's by assessment applied to opportunity minus obligation.
This bothered me for a very long time. The anger, don't you know? And the self-pity evolving into depression.
Then I began to look outward and see that everyone on this mortal faces assessment applied to opportunity minus obligation.
Those three words have far deeper meaning than generated by prosaic comprehension.
Or, let's put it this way: at age 14 or so, I began to realize I would never be a military pilot. Never. Lasik surgery had not been invented. Absent polio and its what-could-have-beens, I would have lived a life with an element of regret about myopia and astigmatism disqualifying me from military aviation. Or, alternately, given my belief in chaos, string theory, and quarkian paths to decisions, I would have learned somewhere along the way I could wear glasses and serve as an aircrewman and retired as chief petty officer ... or ended up lost in some far away ocean in a plane crash.
Past the Land of Pity rests a country where I roam looking at those souls I encounter, souls judged normal in the mirror I reflect. I stop and wonder, "What's their disability? Ignorance? Or perhaps stupidity? Or lack of ambition? Or will to accomplishment?"
As the little essay I sent you notes, I'm a burnt-out case. I have learned there is too much joy to be found in the moment, in the day, in the month or ...
Forever ... as long as I remember We only change the past by changing the future.