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I’m Shifting Away From an Either-or Mindset

A few mornings ago, I groggily looked up and saw my reflection in the mirror. Because my vanity is wheelchair-accessible, I can see myself when I’m brushing my teeth and fixing my hair. I see the world through two black holes. My dark brown eyes are almost completely black, so…

New Year, New Me, and Same Friedreich’s Ataxia

There is a common saying at New Year’s as people make their resolutions: “New year, new me!” The beginning of a calendar year carries an air of possibility. It is an exciting chance to reflect on the previous year and to plan to make the new year even better. It…

Becoming the Miracle We Seek

“You’re cured, Matt! You’re cured!” yelled some friends, their shouts echoing in the ballroom of my college’s student union almost 15 years ago. I remained sitting in my wheelchair following this Christian service of a popular healing preacher.  By then, Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) required me to…

Self-criticism Silences My Authentic Self

For some reason, the huge tome of American literature that served as my textbook for high school English always opened to the poem, “For the Dead,” by Adrienne Rich. Probably because the page was dead center in that hulking paperback book, that poem…

Taking My Time May Allow Me to Get More Done

Last week, my mom and I visited my aunt and uncle, or her sister and brother-in-law. The trip was different from most of the trips I take, and I’m recognizing that my Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) progression is likely to blame. For starters, although I travel fairly often, I don’t usually…

A Shift in Perspective Can Change Everything

Hello and happy holidays! Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and this time of year can be so hectic that it’s often over before we have time to process it. I hope you are able to carve out a few moments during this season to ponder gratitude and to focus on some…