I’m always fascinated by people’s perceptions of me. The stories they tell themselves about how it must be to be me.

I was acutely aware of this during my hospital stay. The staff there assumed I lived in a facility and not my home. They assumed I lived with my Mom, that I needed 24 hour care and that they should have pity towards me.

I wasn’t there to prove anything to them, just to get myself well. But when I began to recoup and had more of my senses about me, I began to talk and give them a glimpse of Me, the person they were actually treating.

When I began to lay out My Story, of the things that I have been through and have overcome, the CNA who was assigned to feed me (because I was unable to do it myself in those moments), was shocked. She said I had to hold talks, tell my story, teach other disabled folks how to handle themselves and their lives.

I waved that comment off, because, really, I cannot tell folks how to live their lives. We all make decisions and choices that benefit us and how we want to live. I can (and try to) only govern Sandra, because that is my first priority. If I can’t get and keep myself together, nothing else in my life, will go or flow right.

I know in those few days, I left an impression on a few of the staff there. I know also that there is something that has been transformed or changed within me, though I am not sure what that is yet. No doubt whatever it is will only add to make me stronger, wiser and more grounded.