I’ll admit it: I am extremely fortunate. Instead of staying a quadriplegic like I was at eight-years-old, I’ve made a tremendous recovery, even though I’m not perfect. I am, indeed, lucky that I’ve regained so much that I once lost—I can walk, move my right hand slightly, and use some parts of my arms. This is something to be happy about, because I am “lucky” that I’m not still a quadriplegic.
However, I am not lucky because I get accommodations or privileges because of my disability. When I got to meet One Direction for my Make-A-Wish trip, I was not “lucky.” It’s easy to say that I am because jealousy takes over our rational thought, but, really, why do you call me “lucky?” Would you rather have transverse myelitis and get to meet your favorite band, or would you rather be healthy and not have that opportunity? The truly lucky ones are the healthy fans that get to meet 1D—not me or anyone else who had a Wish trip.
Meeting One Direction was the happiest moment in my life, and nothing else will ever replace that. I felt truly happy when I was with them, and you can see that in my eyes. To me, I deserved that happiness for all that I’d been through. Those who call me “lucky” due to their uncontrolled jealousy and irrational thought don’t understand the harmful words they’re saying. Sure, it is not fair that some fans get to meet them while others don’t, but it is unfair to call me lucky for it, because I’ve had to go through medical tests and unpleasant things that you didn’t. So, who really is the “lucky” one here?
This situation doesn’t just apply to meeting 1D, either. If I am more comfortable sitting in a chair than on the floor because my neck hurts when I don’t have a chair, I should get a chair—and having that accommodation given to me does not make me “lucky.” Skipping the entire line at the Richard Rodgers Theatre to see Hamilton does not make me “lucky,” because I needed to get inside ahead of everyone else since my disability inhibited my ability to stand for extended periods of time. The phrase “you’re so lucky” works better the other way around—“you’re so lucky” that you have a healthy body that allows you to not need the accommodations I need.
I know, it is too easy to get jealous; we’ve all been victims of jealousy before. I’m not angry at those who tell me I’m lucky; I just want them to understand why they should think twice before telling me that. Because, really, which choice would you make? Would you rather be “lucky” that you receive accommodations and privileges due to disability or “lucky” that you’re in good health? The answer is easy for most.