Empowering Newly Injured Wheelchair Users thru Videos with Richard Corbett

Episode 18 July 04, 2020 01:02:50
Empowering Newly Injured Wheelchair Users thru Videos with Richard Corbett
Freewheelin with Carden
Empowering Newly Injured Wheelchair Users thru Videos with Richard Corbett

Show Notes

Richard Corbett, creator of Wheels2Walking makes entertaining and educational videos for newly injured individuals who now use wheelchairs. He shares his story having a spinal cord injury and how he was able to create a platform for positive change. Subscribe to his YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/wheels2walking, check out his website https://www.wheels2walking.com/ and follow him on Instagram @wheels2walking. Transcript https://rb.gy/numug7

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:04.2100000 So I make videos for newly injured wheelchair users to help them improve their quality of life. And they gain independence. What inspired me to do that is when I got first for about 10 years ago, there wasn't a lot of videos out there on the internet. I remember frantically searching for keywords that had to do with my disability. I would search spinal cord injury, paraplegic wheelchair, because I knew those were kind of like the three diagnoses that I had. I was going to be a wheelchair user and I was paralyzed. And, you know, I'm like, okay, what does my future look like? And I didn't really find any information out there. I knew I had a story to tell, but I know how to tell it. And I didn't know where to tell it, Speaker 2 00:00:45.0500000 Come through freewheeling with carton. This podcast share stories of people with various disabilities and shines a new light on accessibility topics. Our goal is to knock down barriers so we can roll through life a little easier and build a community to do this together. Please rate and follow this podcast or text card at (470) 588-1215 with comments and suggestions. We welcome you on your journey towards inclusion for all. And now your host and Wyckoff global disability advocate and wheelchair warrior. Speaker 3 00:01:17.9200000 All right, welcome back to another episode of free, willing with carton. I have Richard with me joining virtually, Hey Richard, how's it going? Speaker 1 00:01:26.1800000 Hey, carton. Thanks for having me on. Speaker 3 00:01:27.8500000 Yeah, thank you. And I decided to bring you on today. We actually met at a, uh, a music festival wasn't shaky beats last year in Atlanta. And Speaker 1 00:01:40.0900000 We were stuck in the back of that baseball field in the very far away. Speaker 3 00:01:46.7400000 Yeah. And we were just commenting on like, where's the equity here in that platform stage being so far away from the main stage, we ended up just like going down to the mosh that Nang and out there, um, that it was really great to connect with you. And, um, so obviously we follow each other on Instagram. I love seeing all your content that you push out, uh, just relating to disability. Um, empowerment, I think is where your platform really is on. And I'm just sharing your story about your spinal cord injury. So Speaker 1 00:02:19.0700000 Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate that. I I've been watching you too. And, um, it's cool to see that we've got a few people in common and we know in common and, and even, um, seeing the type of activism and awareness that you're doing even locally, like on the city level. Um, you know, that's pretty neat. I I'm much larger than I think local and you're very local and I think that's super cool how we're kind of doing similar things, get different at the same time. Speaker 3 00:02:48.0700000 Totally. I mean, that's the purpose of advocacy and I mean, we're all after the same goal, right? Just a more equitable inclusive world and just the, how you tackle it as how you want to it. So, um, got to do it from all angles. Yeah. And thanks to the internet. Speaker 1 00:03:04.1400000 We can do it quite literally. Speaker 3 00:03:06.2400000 Exactly. Oh yeah. And you can be creative right now. We have YouTube and Instagram and all these kinds of different media platforms. Speaker 1 00:03:15.9500000 Yeah. I've even seen people pop off pretty hard on tick talk recently. Like they'll have like some interesting, they'll find a way to make a joke out of a, of an issue we deal with daily. Um, for example, like people rushing to open doors for us, even if you're already halfway through the door, they might make a funny little skit out of it. And it's like, that's relatable Speaker 3 00:03:38 A hundred percent. No, I think the common theme that I always find with people with disabilities is like, humor keeps us going. And I love that. I think you shared that tech talk video and I liked it. Um, just you have someone running up to the door to help out thinking that they're helping to open the door and they open it up the wrong way. And then that just causes, you know, a 42nd delay is just trying to go through the door. Um, I remember that was an initial challenge that I did do with my family Speaker 1 00:04:09.1100000 When I first got hurt, um, was I had to teach them that the best help is no help because the only way that I can do it, the most effective and efficient way is if I do it my way. And the reason I know my way as best is because I've tested out that system, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times. And whenever someone interjects themself into one of my systems, it's like, I appreciate the gesture, but please understand when I say no, thank you. I'm not trying to be a tough guy. I literally mean, Speaker 3 00:04:39.2600000 No, thank you. Please let me do it my way, right? Yeah. I think, yeah, like you said, it's a gesture thing and some people want to feel like they're helping and that's not always going to be the case. I think, like you said, we can be super independent cause we are a lot of times and we're like, we figured it out. We've mastered down the weird war, wacky workaround and it works to a T for us. So, um, but yeah. So, um, the, tell me a little bit about your injury and how that journey has been. And I kind of want to just dive into that. Speaker 1 00:05:13.7700000 So I'll give you guys the, kind of the quick spiel, so hello listeners. Um, just so you guys know I'm I also have a podcast, so if you, uh, eventually enjoy and be talking and you want to learn more about me, we also have a podcast and I'm sure carton will eventually link it somewhere and you'll be able to find it. But, um, so I make videos for newly injured wheelchair users to help them improve their quality of life and regain independence. And what inspired me to do that is when I got first hurt or when I was first heard about 10 years ago, there wasn't a lot of videos out there on the internet. I remember frantically searching for keywords that had to do with my disability. I would search spinal cord injury, paraplegic wheelchair. Cause I knew those were kind of like the three diagnoses that I had. Speaker 1 00:05:56.4200000 I was going to be a user and I was paralyzed and you know, I'm like, okay, well what is my future look like? And, and I didn't really find any information out there. So through a lot of trial and error and honestly a lot of really tragic mistakes. Um, about eight years after my accident, I was really bored creatively. I was just kind of stuck in a hole and I knew I had a story to tell, but I didn't know how to tell it. And I didn't know where to tell it. Um, and I tried a bunch of different ways to kind of, um, tell my story without me being involved, whether that was through, um, art or whether that was, um, creative writing or some. So I just wanted, I didn't want me to be a part of it cause I was honestly really ashamed of my disability and I was ashamed of my mistakes and ashamed of my past. Speaker 1 00:06:48.3500000 And I thought, no one, no one, no, I don't want to be part of it that way. And, and for whatever reason, the, the way the universe works or God or whatever you want to call it just, I just continually failed. Like just I consistently, every time I tried to make me not a part of my story. Yeah. It just didn't work out. Um, so eventually I decided, okay, let me test something out. And at the time I was really watching this guy on YouTube named Casey Neistat, who used to always say, you don't have to be an interesting person. You just have to have a unique perspective and share that perspective with the rest of the world. And I thought, okay, well let me start videotaping or filming stuff that I do. That's just different because I'm a wheelchair user. So I got on Amazon and grabbed like a little vlog camera on the little tripod and decided to film myself, going to the grocery store and then going to a concert. Speaker 1 00:07:47.3900000 And, um, those videos were so, so well received that in that moment, I was like, Ooh, I got something here. Like maybe if I, if I really approach this from a professional perspective and before I even start decide that I want this to be like my career to be my vocation, then I can do it. Right. So, um, I ended up finding, um, a guy named Andrew who actually had me on his podcast first, the introduction podcast. And that's how we became friends. And, um, I got to listen to my story through his podcasts and I was like, Ooh, this is compelling. Like, Hmm. How, like what are we going to do to like figure out a way to like help these people? Because I wanted to like reduce suffering as much as possible. Cause I had suffered so bad and made all the wrong decisions I wanted to try the best I possibly could to make sure that no one else went through what I, yeah, exactly. Cause it was, it was horrible, man. It was, it was horrible. And um, so I talk a lot about that, you know, within my messaging. And so I, I teamed up with Andrew and Speaker 3 00:08:56.0700000 We teamed up with another person who kind of helped us get like all the backend done. And we took probably six months to really make like a solid launch. And when we launched it, nothing really special happened, but we just stayed consistent. We stayed up on our Instagram game, we stayed up on Facebook, we stayed up on YouTube. We were just real consistent and it's been about a year and a half now. And um, I'd say that we're doing, um, pretty decent for where we're at. Um, luckily we've made it on three different magazine covers. We've won a shorty award. Um, we have approximately, um, 250,000 people that follow us if you count tic talk, which I really don't count tick-tock cause anyone can kind of go viral on tick-tock. I just, I just like to say a hundred thousand people because that's kind of like on Facebook and Instagram and on, on, um, on YouTube, that's kind of our, our three main place. That's awesome. And how did you go about building that audience? Was it just through putting out content regularly and people liking it, Speaker 1 00:09:57.7800000 Consistent content with consistent messaging? Um, so again, like I said in the little schpeel is like, I make videos to help newly injured wheelchair users improve their quality of life and regain independence. So I use my channel to answer questions that I had when I first got fired. So more recently we did like a video on like, um, how to be a good dad. Um, we did another video on, um, you know, how to be in a longterm relationship. We've done videos, you know, like how to do hand controlled go-cart racing. You know, we just kinda just do whatever we want to do. And, but answer those questions that I had about my own life that I know other people are asking about their own life and um, other strategies as far as like how the video is tagged and titled, um, you know, certain things when it comes to like when I get my pictures taken, I always make sure that the picture, the wheelchair is in the photo. So I can also tag it appropriately. So when you see it on the little square on Instagram, discover you go, Oh, look another wheelchair, use it. Let me tap on that. Speaker 3 00:11:03.3700000 Exactly. So building that consistent you're right, exactly. Because that's another thing about creating this social media influence for disability awareness and advocacy is you do kind of have to have the disability in the picture or else people aren't going to know, you have to highlight it. And I know some people are like, well, I want, I, you know, ashamed of that. And I don't want to showcase that. I know for me that there was a time where I used a scooter, like from, so I was walking and then I started using a scooter and then moved to a wheelchair. And when I first started using a scooter, it was, I don't want anyone to see me. So you'll see if you go through my Instagram, like during that year and a half, it's like, you won't find any posts. Cause I never took any pictures with me in the scooter, but now I at pictures using my wheelchair and I'm like, I'm proud. Right. And also like people can relate to you. So, um, what other things would you say to those people who are kind of facing those doubts and just not in that place? You know what that was like, I'm not confident with, Speaker 1 00:12:15.0900000 I think it's a common story. I think it's very, um, common. I think it's, it's normal to really have a resentment towards your mobility device at this time, whether it's like braces, crutches, scooter, wheelchair, whatever it is because not only is it different, you're, you're comparing your, your, your old body to your new body and, and you start to see the mobility devices as, um, a crutch. You know, people always say crutch as, as a negative thing, but it's not, it's, it's something that's actually helping you be the best version of yourself. And um, like I briefly mentioned earlier, like I was so ashamed of my past and so ashamed in my wheelchair. I remember I went through all of my Facebook accounts, deleted every single thing I remember I went through, um, Instagram deleted, every single thing I haven't spent like three or four weeks, like scrubbing myself from the internet. Speaker 1 00:13:07.8300000 Cause I just, I didn't want to exist. I was a complete ghost. And now my entire platform is built on like meet that, like my mental health challenges that I've went through struggles with addiction, my physical disability, like everything that I tried to hide from and delete from the internet is now like front page news. Like this is who I am. Let me tell you the story about what not to do. So once I finally embraced it and I think you're right, I mean, I've noticed there's an interesting trend. Um, even on Instagram, specifically where people will have private accounts and then in their profile picture, they won't have a picture of themselves and their chair. And um, I think it has a lot to do with kind of like public perception. Um, I know I struggled a lot with when I would see people looking at me, I would assume what they were thinking about me based on what I would think if I saw me. So I didn't really realize it until I, I got some mentorship, I guess, from a friend named Carson who told me that it was internalized ableism, that what I was basically doing was hating myself for my disability because before I had a disability, I didn't like disabled people. And I didn't even know that I didn't like the stapled people. I had no idea. Speaker 3 00:14:27.4300000 It was like an unconscious bias. Speaker 1 00:14:29.5500000 Totally. And I was taking it out on myself and I was assuming other people were thinking the same nasty things about myself, as I would have thought about myself, like, Oh, look at this, just lazy, dirty, stinky, smelly, good for nothing waste of space, you know, angry guy, you know, I'll add that people take care of him. Like he can never have a job. No one's going to him. You know, I had all these, like these nasty voices in my head, but they were, they were me, they were my own voices. And once I kind of realized that like I was the one who was being mean to myself and not really anybody else. And then once I realized that the wheelchair and, um, I'm not sure if you know this about me, but it's very open that like I can stand and walk sometimes. And I use prejudice around Speaker 3 00:15:16.9400000 If you were standing. And actually that was the first time that I'd ever seen someone who went to spinal cord injury at the music festival, you just got up and stood. And I was like, wait, what? I was just so surprised that I was like, wait, you could do that. Um, and then I remember actually the security guard, you are standing with your girlfriend and like, your wheelchair was like just a little further back than normal. And the security guard came up and was like, excuse me, sir. Um, this is only for a wheelchair. You're just, and he's like, yeah, that's my wheelchair. Speaker 1 00:15:51.7800000 You see the empty one behind that. That's mine, that's mine right there. Speaker 3 00:15:55.6300000 And he was like, he did a double take just like how I did. Um, but yeah, I think that's certainly a misconception that, um, just because someone uses a wheelchair that they can't stand on their own. Me personally, my disability is different. Like I have a progressive muscle disease. So I, now I don't stand on my own and trying to stand is almost impossible. But for you, it sounds like you do have that ability ability and you have some stability to do that. What was that like getting that back or being able to do that? Speaker 1 00:16:26.2600000 Yeah. My mobility is a really weird story. So I, when I first got hurt, so I've like, you mentioned a spinal cord injury, but it's very low on the spinal cord and usually the lower, the level of injury, the more, um, function should you have. Um, so I'm pretty low. I'm at the, in the L L too. So that's like, um, below yep. In the lumbar. Yeah. So, um, in that area, um, when most people they are usually considered, what's called an incomplete spinal cord injury, which means that you have some, um, temperature sensation, you've got some muscle movement, you've got, um, some ability to do soft touch or hard touch, or the big issue is really pain. Cause you can feel everything. That's like the worst part of it. Um, but I very quickly realized that, um, I couldn't really get back to where I wanted to be. Speaker 1 00:17:21.6600000 Like in the first couple of months, I think six to nine months, I was like, dude, there's no way I'm going to get back to like anything close to where it was. And I was able to with my right leg is pretty strong. I was able to stand while holding on to things, but I wasn't able to walk unless I had like a huge clunky brace and like two crutches. So I was like, dude, I'm just going to roll around on the chair. I'm gonna get back to work. I'm gonna get back to school. And I did, in a matter of nine months, I was back to school and back to work and personify them degree. And I was really proud of myself. And um, at the time I kind of still had some of that like nasty, you know, ableism in my head and I pushed myself away from the community as far as I could go because I'm not like those guys, I'm not like the rest of them. Speaker 1 00:18:03.3600000 Like I'm different, you know, I have the, you know, uniqueness or I thought I was unique. And um, unfortunately during it, during that time period, I mean, this was very slow and progressive as over like a four or five year period. Um, you know, I eventually, you know, got out of school because I was trying to work more. And when I was working more, I unfortunately started using a lot of, um, drugs that doctors were giving me. I was taking like the opiate pain painkillers and I was taking a lot of the like, uh, anxiety medicines and a lot of the, um, like study drugs, like all the amphetamines. So I was basically speedballing all day and, um, just got in a real bad mental place and just declined just horribly. Um, the next couple of years, I mean, it was slow and progressive. It was, it was really bad, um, to the point where, um, I tried to end it a few times, you know, I was like, dude, I can't take this anymore. Speaker 1 00:18:55.2000000 Like this whole, like I don't, I don't like this. And then by the time I made it to a rehab and got clean and got my mental health in order, got my physical health in order and basically stopped poisoning myself with all, all these drugs. My body was like, Oh, Hey, we're going to start like waking up now six years later. And I was like, what is going on here? Like, wow, I was, I was in so much pain. I was so uncomfortable, but I couldn't take drugs to get rid of the pain. I just had to deal with it, but not really like squirmy in my wheelchair. And I started like laying on the ground more and like sitting, you know, Chris cross and, you know, walking around on my crutches. And I was like, this is, I don't like being in my chair anymore. Speaker 1 00:19:35.5600000 This is weird. Like I used to be okay being in the chair, but now it's like, it hurts too much to be in the chair. Um, so I spent probably two years getting as much back as I could and I was able to go from two crutches and a full leg brace, um, to two crutches and basically brace on my ankle and then two crutches with no brace and then one crutch and then no crutch, um, over a matter of about two years. And that was cool. Um, but it was excruciating. Like it was a lot of pain. Um, and the whole time I was still mixed mobility, I always kept my wheelchair close by. I think there was only one time ever that I went the whole day without using my wheelchair, like only one day ever. And it was like an easy day. Speaker 1 00:20:19.7500000 I think I just had to like waddle to the car drive somewhere and then like waddle back. Like it wasn't anything big deal. Um, so, um, those are a couple of video topics actually talk about pretty regularly on my channel about why I choose to use a wheelchair, even though I can walk. Um, and those always strike a lot of controversy because, um, a lot of people in the spinal cord injury community don't even have the option to try, you know, their bodies, their bodies aren't aren't there. So, um, there are a lot of semi ambulatory wheelchair users, but not a lot of semi ambulatory spinal cord injury, your users. So, um, it's kinda funny, like the people that disliked me the most are the people that are the close, the closest related to me because through whatever reason, internal or whatever, but I, I managed to achieve the one thing that they've wanted to achieve their whole life. Speaker 1 00:21:15.0700000 And then I kind of achieved it. I mean, not really because I'm like maybe at the time of what I used to be like 10% of able-bodied Richard, like yeah, sure. I can stand and walk, but for like how long, like for how far, how much pain am I going to be in the next day? Can I carry anything? How slow am I going to be? Like, the wheelchair is, is nice relative to just walking around all the time. And then, uh, December of this year, um, I was actually struck by a car and broke my leg and learn how to walk again again. And I'm so used to walking right now that I don't know if I care enough to put in another two years of, you know, like of my own like physical therapy and like diet and exercise and coaching and physical therapy. Speaker 1 00:22:06.7700000 And like that was like a full time job for me for like now that I'm so deep into this wheels to walking rabbit hole, I'm like, I don't know if I want to. I mean, I want the pain to go away, but how much effort do I want to put in? And that's kind of a thing that I also tend to talk about a lot on my channel is like, like get as much back as you possibly can, but don't forget you have the rest of your life. Like you still have like career, you still have relationships, you still have friendships. Like you still have other dreams and goals and ambitions. And I think a lot of people feel like, Oh, my legs were working in life was going great. My legs stop working life is going bad. So the only way to make my life great again, is to get my legs back. Speaker 1 00:22:49 And it's like, that's not necessarily true. Like in order, you don't have to get your legs back to get your life back. Like you can, you can still live a fulfilling life. And that's, that's like a huge thing that I do on the channel is I just show people, I'm like, look at all this cool stuff that you can do. Like you can still use a wheelchair and still crush it. Like you can fine tune your craft and be an athlete and do extreme sports and travel the world. It doesn't matter. It's not, it's not over. It's just different. And you know, that's a very long, short story of, of my whole walking journey. And I, I actually have a series of emails that I've written called the untold story, and you can find those on my website and, um, that kind of dives in much deeper. If anyone wants to go check those out, there's so many nuggets of great chins in there. Just kind of just, you were presented with something and Speaker 3 00:23:46.5500000 You had to change your life around. And then another thing happened again to complicate that. And it's like, okay, how you can chain you to just overcome those obstacles. It's like, well, you had two years of your life that you dedicated to getting a lot of your walking back and then it set you back again. You were hit by a car just immediately, just two years, just basically gone out the window. Um, and you're also saying how, when that happens, there's other things in your life that are important that you have to manage your time. And I know you're in a relationship now. And what is that? Like if you were to think about dedicating that time, what'd you have time. Speaker 1 00:24:32.8900000 Yeah. And that's, that's the whole thing is I got to figure out what's important to me. Um, not just for now, but also for the longterm. And, um, I, it gives me the opportunity to practice what I preach, honestly, because a lot of people don't like what I have to say about my own personal mobility and my philosophy or my opinions on, on mobility, because they look at me and say, Oh, well, easy for you to say, cause you've succeeded. Oh, easy for you to say, cause you've done it. And I'm like, well, yes and no. And then we have a situation where it's pretty much back to zero. I mean, it's, it's rough, but I'm now able to go, well, what have I been saying to all my wheelie boys from the beginning I've been playing like, it's like your it's like you it's like focus on your life and get as much mobility as you can. Speaker 1 00:25:25.7000000 And for me, the two things that matter the most is my relationship with my girlfriend and wheels walking. Those are like the two things that matter the most and walking is not required for those things. Sure. For sure. Walking is nice. Um, but in order to have a fulfilling relationship and a fulfilling career and, um, a vibrant career and a vibrant relationship, it's not a requirement. Like I don't have to be like, Oh man, well, let me just take another two years and just put everything on hold again. And I'm like, yeah, I'll do the most I can now. And what I have is about an hour a day and I, I incorporate physical therapy into my regular gym routine. So whatever workouts I do, I throw in 15 to 20 minutes of like functional strength training for, um, my legs. And then that's kinda it. Um, when, before it used to be an hour and a half to two hours every day, now I spend maybe 15 to 20 minutes every day. Just kind of doing little stuff, not even like big stuff like I used to do before Speaker 3 00:26:25.0300000 Because the recovery isn't like, Oh, it just takes six weeks. And you're back to normal, like a typical injury it's way more involved. Is it because of the lack of mobility or the sensation or, um, range of motion. Speaker 1 00:26:38.4900000 Whereas, I mean, it's so many everything it's it's um, so anyone even a fully able buddy person, if they don't walk for three to six months, they're going to have muscle wasting. Um, they're going to have balance issues. They're going to have mobility issues. They're gonna have pain issues. Um, and so I already have atrophied muscles. I already have tight tendons. I already have weak joints. I already have compromised bones added on top of all of that. It's like, whew, this is a lot like this would, I would almost have to go to like a special kind of like neuro recovery rehabilitation. And I'd probably have to do that for three to six months while also modifying a diet and maybe even experimenting with some, you know, special supplements from different countries. And, you know, just like figuring out like how much effort I want to put into this. Speaker 1 00:27:36.8400000 And, and for again, this might change in a couple of years. Like in a couple of years I might go, okay, cool. My relationship's going great. My business is going great. All I want to do now is focusing on mobility. But before I had a business and before I had a relationship, I could focus all my time and attention on kind of fixing my body. And, and now that I'm very committed to my relationship and even more committed, I think to my business, which is string think about because they're both very equally important to me. Um, those are the things that matter to me the most right now, not necessarily getting back what I lost because I already knew what that was like for six previous years. So it's not anything new to me. Speaker 3 00:28:23.4700000 And I know the relationship is really important to you. And I did meet your lady at the music festival. And, um, just thinking about, I, you spoken on your platform about not thinking that you'll never be able to find love or like having all that self doubt. And that's something I think comes up a lot with people with disabilities. I even thought about it many times, myself, like, Oh, no one wants to love me because I use a wheelchair and I have limited range from potion and I can't do certain things. Right. What do you say to those people? And because obviously, yeah, you are in a relationship and you do use a wheelchair. Speaker 1 00:29:02.2900000 So the, again, it kind of goes back to the theme where I had to do a lot of inner work. First. I hadn't realized that the language I was using to describe myself was wrong. Um, I used to think that I was weak and fragile and broken and damaged and unlovable and that no one could ever commit to me because I would have all these issues and I didn't want to hold them back because, you know, well, what if they want to do stuff? And I can't do things and be a burden. And like, I just had a lot of this negative self talk and the way I was able to get out of that was that I started dating myself. I started taking my concerts and to art shows and to movies and to restaurants. And I really just started like trying to like woo myself. Speaker 1 00:29:46.5700000 And, and that, like, that's a form of self love gave me a lot of confidence because then I didn't feel like I, I needed to be with someone or I had to be with someone in order to, you know, complete knee or whatever those emotions are that we feel towards the significant other. And, um, you know, I had, I'd been doing that for about the same time I was working on getting my walk back, which is around two years that I was really just focusing on, you know, trying to hook up with myself, you know, it was like this whole thing. And then once I, I was like, you know, I'm okay by myself. Like, I'm good. You know, like I enjoy hanging out with me. Like I pretty much like don't really want or need anyone else around. And then, you know, that's right. Speaker 1 00:30:37.3600000 About the time I started, I was like, Oh, like, how can I work on my craft? Like, what can I do professionally? Like how can I move myself forward? Because not only did it is the disability sent me back really bad, but like, you can't really improve your trajectory in life when you're addicted to drugs either. So, you know, at 26, when I got clean, I felt like I was 20, you know, so I'm 31 now. And I feel like I'm 25, cause I've just been playing catch up all this time. Um, so when I was like, okay, how can I, you know, like really focus on like my career. And then, um, I, I bumped into my girlfriend at the gym. I was like, Oh, Hey, she kinda cute. Let me go talk to her. And like, I still wear them to the day I wear these little like stringer, like bikini type things. Speaker 1 00:31:22.8700000 I got the beard, I got the tattoos. Like I I'm always chatting with, with girls anyway. And that's mainly because I grew up in a house with two older sisters and a mom. So I'm way more comfortable with girls than I am with guys. Interesting is though she thought I was just this big flirt. She was like, Oh gosh, don't come talk to me like this douchebags going to make fun of me. I don't want anything to do with them. Um, and we just started talking and then basically I took her on all the dates that I had taken myself on. I just did all of the things that I already knew were accessible that I already knew were fun that I knew were good. And it blew her mind. She was like, these are the best dates I've ever been on my entire life. Speaker 1 00:32:06.3400000 Like, how did you find out about these things and was that I did them. I was like, um, and then we just became adventure buddies for like the whole summer. Like I remember at one point like three weeks straight, we did not stop hanging out with each other. I was either at her house. She was at my house. Like only when we, she would go to work was where are we not together? And I was still go see her for lunch. And, um, it kinda just worked out well where she, she has said multiple times. And usually when people ask her, you know, like, Oh, what's it like to, you know, you know, data guy in a wheelchair or like, you know, what was the first thing you saw in him? Like, why would he ask a question? And she's always like, well, I mean, his confidence blinded me. Speaker 1 00:32:49.0800000 She's like, I didn't even really like notice. She was like, obviously I saw the wheelchair. Like I knew Abel, but it wasn't like a thought in my head. She was like, I was just wowed at how like driven and passionate and interesting and compelling of a human being that I didn't see it as a, as a negative thing. She's like, because all the other able-bodied guys that I had been dating before, in comparison, we're just lame and boring and kind of like bad people. Like they were just like regular dudes who had like regular jobs that were just like taking them out to bars and restaurants and trying to hook up. And she's like, you were like full on adventure mode. That's well, I was all about, so the best advice I have for guys, when they ask me this question is like, confidence is key, but you don't just get confidence. You have to build up your own confidence account and how you build up your confidence account is by working out and showering and wearing nice clothes and getting a haircut and shaving and going out and doing fun and interesting things to make yourself a fun and interesting person. And then someone will be in parallel with you and you don't even know it. And then when you meet them, you just keep moving forward at the same direction. Speaker 3 00:34:06.2500000 Right. You have to have that confidence and you have to have that, like you say, the confidence account. So in, uh, this, uh, seven habits of highly effective people, it's the emotional bank account. So similar concept of you have to build up that emotional and confidence bank account for your own self, because so many people are uncomfortable being with themselves and only themselves and with their mind and their thoughts and their intrusive thoughts. Um, it's a real issue. And I think I'll say it with the pant, I'm a campaigning, it's allowed a lot of people to sit with themselves and their mind and their thoughts. And it's, uh, been, uh, really devastating for a lot of people in terms of the mental health. Um, I think that's different for the disability community. Speaker 1 00:34:58.7300000 Yeah. I think the disability community, we were, we've been set up for this. Like this is not new, like social distancing, social isolation, not being included in things is not anything new to us. So we have an advantage that we get to kind of share with the rest of the world and be like, Oh, you want to learn for some experts? Like I knew a girl she's like, dude, I spent three years in the bed in a room shut up. Like this is not hard. So I think you're right though. It's saying that no seriously. Speaker 1 00:35:35.3600000 Cause I see people like just struggling and I'm over here thriving, like, Oh, you mean I get to have a 12 hour uninterrupted Workday. Yes, please. Oh, you may not only have to go to the grocery store once every two weeks. Yes. Like, Oh you mean no one, I'm not obligated to go socialize all the time. Cool. You know, but I think you're right. There's two kinds of people that have, have kind of gone through the pandemic. And on the other side, it's the people that have, um, kind of talk to their darkness, have acknowledged their darkness has spoke to their darkness. The people that have used this time to create, um, a dialogue with themselves are going to come out, changed people. And I think those same people are probably the same ones that are going to have a lot of gratitude for themselves and for their lives. Speaker 1 00:36:29.2800000 Like I remember the other day I was doing laundry and I got really emotional. I was like, I'm grateful that I don't have to haul this to a Creek somewhere and wash it off with some soap and hanging up to dry. And it takes my entire day all like I got this nice little washing machine with me and that was a silly bit of gratitude. I think those are the people that are going to be positively transformed the ones that kind of have acknowledged their demons or their darkness or whatever you want to call it. And that have, have learned to become a better person and become more grateful and kind of used this extra time to improve their quality of life or their education or their business, or read books or become better parent or a better lover or whatever it may be. But then the flip side, there's the people that, um, have decided, okay, this is when I kill myself and they do, or the people that are drowning out their darkness with drugs and alcohol, you know, or the people that are mine, Lhotse consuming media and they're full of fear and that are addicted scroll and are constantly creating drama for themselves and controversies. Speaker 1 00:37:38.0700000 And it's like, I think post pandemic, there's going to be a clear, defined line between the people that actually chose to get real with themselves. And then the people that actively chose to desperately find any reason to escape themselves. And I think kind of with this, this first wave of openings, we're kind of seeing those people that were desperate the whole time to go, like, let me get out of here. Like I need to escape my own head, um, that are out there doing that right now. And I think that, um, or full of gratitude and the people that have chosen to better themselves, they're like, okay, like things are opening up, but honestly, like I'm, I'm kinda cool. Just chilling by myself right now. Like Speaker 3 00:38:23.2200000 I like how you frame darkness as if it sounded like to me that it was almost like another person, like you have to sit with your darkness as if like you were sitting across the room from someone, Speaker 1 00:38:36.0400000 You know, is this big, scary beast, but, um, yeah, that's something I, I learned, um, in therapy, uh, just to kind of take each one of your issues, um, and, and separate it into its own person. And then you have, it's you, it's not like it's something else, but you can name it. And then when you, when you name it and you acknowledge it, you can like talk shit to it. Almost like, like for example, like I named my addiction slick and slick once nothing, but my demise, he wants to be lazy. He wants to be unproductive. He was a pleasure seeker and he wants nothing, but for me to not be successful. So I have to actively, you know, have some type of mental jujitsu to fight off slick. I have to cry. Speaker 1 00:39:28.8100000 He's a smooth talker. He's like, man, just eat that extra junk food. Don't go to the gym today. Like get to work half a day. Like whatever, you know, it's like, it's, it's realizing that there's this, this second part of me that doesn't like what I'm up to currently, because that person's still lives inside of me. And you know, I also deal with, um, some mental health issues, you know, anxiety, depression, and even some traits of bipolar. And like those characters, like they have their own traits and whenever I see them popping up, I'm like, Ooh, I gotta check that one. Like that one will get me in trouble. And by framing it as something else, you can frame it and then you name it and then you can like systematically break it down, you know, even to the point where, um, it's hard to do, but like legitimately have a conversation with yourself in a mirror, like roll up to a mirror, like look at yourself, dead in the eyes and be like, Hey, what are you doing right now? Speaker 1 00:40:29.0900000 You know? And to like to have that conversation is very strange because it's you like, you're really talking to yourself. But if you are talking to the part of yourself that you're not a big fan of, or a part of yourself that you don't like, or a part of yourself that you wish would do better, you can have like some real conversations and there's no secrets. So there's, there's nothing new to be afraid of. You know, be like, whether it's something as simple as like, you know, scrolling social media all day, it's like, what are you trying to avoid? Like what hard work is it that you're attempting not to do by pretending to do work somewhere else? Like what, what are you doing? And, you know, and then I get to answer my own question or it can be something as deep and as dark as, you know, mommy issues or daddy issues or no problems with your own personal self or your own personal body, or if you're struggling with, you know, addiction problems or whatever it may be like, those are obviously a bit more deep, but you can still have conversations with that kind of that piece, who you are. Speaker 3 00:41:35.6100000 Wow. I'm going to try that, go up into the air and listen here, slick or whatever. I call my, my secondary person. We all have those. We all have the secondary personas and personalities, or if we want to like name them as like different thoughts, like intrusive thoughts. Um, we all are going to have those self doubts, whether or not it's a full clinical diagnosis or not. It's just, we're actively thinking all the time. And it's easy for those things to just intrude invade our mind. Um, especially when we have so many current events going on, um, that are just a lot of unrest unjust. COVID all that. So, um, yeah, I think it's, I think that's great advice for really everyone disability or not. It doesn't really matter. Speaker 1 00:42:25.7900000 I think when I realized like that my feelings and my emotions are a way that my, my own mind is trying to communicate with me. Like, I feel like there's a clear, defined line between like a logical part of my brain and like an emotional part of my brain and how they communicate back and forth is through feelings. So whenever I would get like a very strong feeling about it, I'd be like, okay, who's trying to tell me what, like what's going on here? Like what, what is, what is this, the tapping and inside of me, you know, and trying to like investigate that and figure out what it's trying to tell you. Um, Speaker 3 00:43:01.2400000 Cause it's when those thoughts turn to actions is when it can be that, or it could be good, just depends on what the action that you end up carrying out. Speaker 1 00:43:11.1500000 Absolutely. And, and, and some people and me included in this are victims of our impulses. We don't even have a filter between thought and action. It just happens. And then, and then after the fact, you look back on it and you're like, what was that? Right. You know, but being able to like put the filter before the action is not easy at all, it takes a lot, it takes a lot of work to do, but, um, like I, I, I have no shame in admitting that I went to years and years of therapy and I was involved in 12 step programs and I went to rehab and that was super intensive. And you know, when you have a disability combined with an active addiction, it you're, you're animalistic. You are purely animalistic. Like, all you care about is like eating and sleeping and, and, and using drugs. Speaker 1 00:44:01.1300000 And honestly you could skip the eating part because drugs are more important to you. And you forget to, um, you know, shower, you forget to communicate with people, you forget to clean up. Like you just become quite literally an animal and you forget how to socialize and you forget what emotions are and what feelings are because you're constantly trying to just push, push those feelings down with chemicals. And it wasn't, it was only until after I got clean that I realized that I had never actually dealt with my accident. I had no idea. I know, cause I had a lot of issues before I got paralyzed. And then when I got paralyzed, that became the main issue. But what I failed to do was acknowledged not only the paralysis and you know, my life completely changing forever as I, I never even acknowledged this stuff in my past too. Speaker 1 00:44:55.7700000 So I was just really good at just shoving it down that, um, it, it started to like spew over and how I regulated those emotions was with the drugs. The doctors were giving me, Oh, too sad, take this pill. Oh, too. Happy to take this pill too anxious, take this pill. Oh, to insert the blank, take this pill. It was just like a pill for everything. So I just used drugs to regulate everything about myself. And then because of that, I neglected everything and I've completely ruined my brain chemistry for life. Like, I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to be on antidepressants forever because all of the pipes that are responsible for building chemicals just shut down simply because for years I was externally taking those drugs. Um, but that was insane to think about because I think about one, I want to make sure no one else does that. So that's why I'm very open and I talk about it, but then, you know, where I am today is a dream dude. It's crazy. Like it is, it is. Speaker 3 00:46:01.0600000 Yeah. You've really made a living for yourself and a name for yourself, your brand, and you certainly have a Mark on the internet and also in the community in Atlanta, for sure. And outside of the, the community, um, in regards to the drug. So if we were to, I mean, I don't want to point fingers, but also with, do you think it's the responsibility of the doctors and the physicians to realize that, you know, we're giving you all these medications to check off boxes to make you feel better, but you're actually making yourself worse. Where was that line drawn? Speaker 1 00:46:38.0600000 It's complicated. So I'm, I'm still a individual, I'm still a person. I still have a freedom of choice. Right? Sure. Um, but, uh, addiction is, is complicated because, uh, it compels you, you're, you're operating out of your, your deep root brain. You're operating out of your lizard brain basically. And all that one knows is to procreate, uh, and to eat and to seek pleasure. That's all it knows. Um, and so I don't necessarily think it was the responsibility of the doctor, but I feel like the doctor definitely had a role. Um, I say it this way, like my, my drug dealers were doctors, you know, I didn't go to the streets. I went to the clinic and when I was in the clinic, I was dishonest. I lied. I made sure to shower and shave and put on clean clothes and a sit up right. Speaker 1 00:47:35.8000000 And to speak articulately and, you know, to ask the right questions and finesse as much as I could. And I mean, there was one point I was seeing a couple of doctors. I was seeing, you know, two or three people at a time and I was the master manipulator. Um, so I don't even know if they knew how much I was manipulating the situation. But I think that the challenges is like these drugs, the ones I'm specifically talking about what you're like class two narcotics, which are like your amphetamines, your opiates and your, your benzos. And I have found that those are very quick fixes. It's like, Oh, you're in pain. Take this pill. Boom. But I could have stretched. I could have worked out, you know, I could have eaten better. You know, I could have sat out in the sun, you know, like there's a lot of things I could have done. Speaker 1 00:48:30.8800000 Well, you can't focus here, take this pill. Boom. Well, I could have learned how to study better. I could have been more focused. I could've, you know, learned how to be more, you know, attention oriented. Like there's, there's so many things I could have done differently, but these little powerful pills are just immediate, quick fixes while you're anxious here, take a pill, take a pill and thanks to going through rehab and working 12 steps and going to therapy and figuring out what the heck was going on in my brain and how to regulate my emotions on my own and how to eat. Right. And how to exercise and how to socialize and how to, you know, take care of myself with my hygiene. Like I I've learned how to create those feelings externally, um, instead of having to take something, to create those, those feelings. Speaker 1 00:49:23.9100000 So it's like you take a pill, your brain has a chemical reaction because the pills are in your stomach. Now, if I'm feeling a certain type of way, I'll go push around the block, outside and sun and the exercise and the fresh air. It makes me feel a certain type of way, or I'll call a friend. And that makes me feel a certain type of way, or I'll go to the gym. And that makes me feel a certain type of way. Like there's, there's different ways that I can create those chemical reactions in my brain as opposed to taking a pill. And I think that's where physicians could do a lot better job is, is kind of like a whole person approach instead of necessarily a like specific pill that like fixes fixes the problem. Speaker 3 00:50:06.4100000 Hmm. Yeah. I would like to see a whole person approach. I think that's what Dios do the doctor of osteopathic medicine. Like you can go MD or Dio route. I think dos focused more on that. And also like naturopathic doctors, obviously they can't prescribe prescriptions, but they could certainly do herbal treatments and acupuncture and stuff. I've always gravitated more toward those natural therapies when they've come about and less, more so on the, on the, um, traditional medicine taking pills and stuff just cause I don't, I don't want to go down that route. I don't want to Speaker 1 00:50:46.5400000 That's super wise. Um, and the challenge with all of it is like, I'm kind of in your camp too, where it's like, I'd rather find a non medicine non-surgical approach to fix whatever issue I'm dealing with. But the, the difficulty with that is, is you, uh, the sciences is either it's either not there or it's stupid or it's super flimsy. You know, it's a lot of, um, antidotal, it's a lot of personal experience. It's a lot of studies, you know, versus like proper medicine, like indie medicine is like, it's like scientifically proven to actually be precisely effective. And, and that's, what's also really complicated about any type of therapy with disability is not all disabilities are the same and you can't have double blind studies because no, one's going to volunteer and be like, Oh, I volunteered to be paralyzed for a couple of thousand bucks. Speaker 1 00:51:50.0100000 And then we'll do this, we'll do this test. And we'll do it at the exact same time that this other guy got accidentally paralyzed. So let's, let's wave magnets over his body and see if it works. And it's like, I mean, maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, we don't know, you know, it doesn't work like that. It's like, there's, there's no way to prove or to disprove. And that's the challenge, especially when it comes to physical therapy stuff. I mean, dude, I could dive deep on like STEM cells, for example, like that's mostly bogus, like almost like mostly bogus. Um, there's a lot of, I mean, Speaker 3 00:52:29.2600000 I'm not a doctor, I'm not a researcher, but my understanding is that because of STEM cell is like the basic level of cell and it can literally go diverge into any type of cell. There's no way to control the pathway, which it goes, that's what I understand of it as, Speaker 1 00:52:47.6800000 Yeah. From what I understand about it is that it can, uh, strengthen what already exists, but not create new. Like it can't just poof. Speaker 3 00:52:58.4100000 Yeah. You can't just like make cotton candy out of it. Like, Oh, there's all your muscle fibers brand new created. Speaker 1 00:53:05.0500000 And, and the other thing is like, okay, so someone is a year and a half post-injury. Um, and then they decide to do six months of intensive outpatient program. And then they have a result that same person, 18 months out does a STEM cell treatment. And then does six months of outpatient physical, like hard intensive physical therapy. The end result might be exactly the same, but there's no way to know because they either chose to or chose not to there's there's no clear defined anything. And since I'm specifically with spinal cord injury and um, cause I'm not too well versed with other disabilities too much, it's like there they're extremely unique. They're unique, like fingerprints, they're all fingerprints, they're all spinal cord injuries, but no two are the same. So there's, there's really no way to gauge how it works because of how the injury occurred. You know, was it a fall? Was it a car crash? Was it a gunshot? You know, was it a motorcycle wreck, you know, was how damaged was this monitor? You know, the rest of the rest of the body could have been jacked up. You know, you never ever know it's too complicated, but you know, I, I do like taking alternate routes as long as they're not too fishy. You know what I mean? Some of them you're like, this seems like even if you couldn't exactly. And there's a lot of snake oil, a lot of it out there, Speaker 3 00:54:38.8800000 A lot of snake oil. Well, thanks for church sound lodge for your time. Is there any last one minute phrases or one sentence phrases that you want to share with the world, your message for your platform? Speaker 1 00:54:54.0800000 Oh goodness. I think, um, something that I've been repeating to myself a lot in our Pete to a lot of people is, um, progress, not perfection. Um, more than likely you will never reach a point in your life where anything is going to be perfect and you never have to do anything perfectly because more than likely, it's never going to be perfect. Do it. And then the next time you do it, try to be 1% better. And the next time you do it, try to do another 1% and then hopefully by the hundredth time you've done it. Um, you will be not perfect, but you'll still be making progress. That's perfect. Yeah. I mean, yeah. Don't try to be perfect. I see stunted. They don't, they don't start anything because they're so worried about doing it perfectly and it's like, just try it. You'll see what I mean. Speaker 1 00:55:41.2100000 Well, thank you. I really appreciate your time. Thank you, guardian. Can I, can I plug my podcast? Oh, sorry. Yes, please. Give me all your pugs. I totally spaced. Yeah, no, it's totally fine. So if you have made it this far along in a podcast, that means you are a podcast listener and that's good. That's good. If you enjoyed listening to me talk, uh, go check out my podcast at wheels. Two walking.com forward slash podcast. That's the number two wheels to walking. And if you're interested in learning more about me or my story, you can go to a wheels to walking.com and browse around. You can check out all my social media they're linked on there. And um, that's all my plugs. Thanks to walking number Speaker 3 00:56:24.1000000 Two. Alright, bye. Wheelie friends. I love that. I'm going to start using that. Speaker 1 00:56:30.5500000 No, I literally try to put the word whale into every like, like, uh, like my, like my guys that I talk are like really boys and like other on wheels or I call it my wheel friends or whatever. It's just an automatic bond. Like we don't even have like, it's like, ah, totally. It's like an automatic in like, yeah, we know how the world is. Let's just be friends. Speaker 3 00:56:52.3200000 Right? Exactly. We have that understanding of a lot of FOMO and just phasing inequities and challenges and roadblocks, regardless of what ever happened to you. It's you understand Speaker 1 00:57:06.0700000 Exactly? There's there's no, like, try to explain yourself to other people. Oh, what a blessing to not have to like go through that whole awkward, like new friendship phase where you have to like explain everything to them. Speaker 3 00:57:17.8200000 Yeah. I usually, when I meet new people who use wheelchairs, I never asked them and they never asked me what's wrong or what happened. It usually will come up later. But yeah, it doesn't, it doesn't usually matter. It's always interesting. Cause it's always like the people who are currently non-disabled um, they're the ones that always ask. They're curious like, Oh, why are you in a wheelchair? But people who use wheelchairs, they don't usually ask me, Speaker 1 00:57:45.3600000 Well, that's the thing. And I know we totally ended it, but I'm going to go on a little thing about podcast. Right? We can do whatever you want exactly is. It's like, I think when you are talking with another person with a disability, they see you first, they see you, the person, because to us, that's how we want to be seen. Like I want to see, be seen as a person you want to be seen as a person and you don't want to be seen as your disability and you don't want to be seen as your wheelchair or your crutches or your braces. So I think that's why we just skipped that step and just talk to that person and, and to enable bodied person, the disability or the wheelchair could be the most interesting thing to them. But it's like, ask me about art. Speaker 1 00:58:32.3700000 Asked me about music, asked me about my favorite coffee shops. Literally. Anything else like I have, I'm a very interesting person. This is just one thing that you see you just so you're compelled to ask about it. And I'm lucky enough and fortunate enough that I even have some able-bodied friends that I was friends with for a very long time. And somehow in conversation, I can't really recall. They're like, Hey man, what, what did happen to you? Like what's, what's up. I'm like, you've literally never asked. And they're like, no, I, and I was like, I thought you would have asked by now. And they're like, we don't care. We like you, like, we're talking to you. Like you're not even trying to, you know, like figure out because I think in the grand scheme of things, wholly irrelevant. It is like, what's wrong again? Speaker 1 00:59:17.3400000 I hate that word. What's wrong with me? You're like, you know why I use a it's like how much time you got I'm in, I'm in the checkout line at target right now. Okay. 27 years of my life. I can tell you a story. Yeah. A little hack that I do is I, I carry, um, so my business cards I'll show it to you real quick on the video, my, my mrs card. So I'm what I do is whatever I, people will be like, Hey man, what happened to you? I'm like, it's really long. And this is not the right time. But here, go check out my website or like jump on myself. Nice. Here's a sticker. I always say here's a sticker because people throw away business cards. People do not throw away stickers. So I say, here's one of my stickers, go check me out. And occasionally I'll get messy, get some stickers, then get some stickers. You're a little, you're a little milk carton, your little card that on everything. Speaker 3 01:00:16.0300000 That's so interesting seeing the person and not the courage, the wheelchair, the Walker, the whatever. Um, yeah. There's just that underlying understanding and the disability community of you see the person. So I guess that would be a great message for non-disabled is just see the person, not, not the thing using that they're using. Speaker 1 01:00:38.9100000 Yeah. And I think eventually there's nothing wrong with asking about, but it's, it's all about context. Like if your first question to me is, Hey man, what happened to you? I'm like, I don't know what happened to you, but what happened to you? You know, or what did they ask these really personal questions? Like out of nowhere, they're like, Hey, can you have sex? It's like, can you like, I don't know. Like, it's like, what's going on here? Why would you ask your grandma that? Like, why, why are you like, why are you coming up to me with all these really personal questions? It's like, how's your sperm count? Is it good? Do you have kids? Right? Like, tell me about that divorce. You had a kid that died, right? It's like, Whoa. It's like, exactly. It's very personal, you know? But yeah. It's, I don't mind kids can ask as many questions as they want. I also really like it when maybe I've been friends with you for a couple of months and then we go out to coffee and we're chilling and, and I've got an hour and a half to just talk with you about it. Ask me, then ask me then. But not first, first arrival. Speaker 3 01:01:41.4199999 Sure. I think it's also the context. Like let's say for me with like muscular dystrophy and I'm going to go do one of those awareness walks to help raise awareness and like fundraising for it. That's where it makes sense for you to ask me questions about it. Like, okay, I'm advocating and like spreading this message, please come and join. And this is my personal story, Speaker 1 01:02:02.1600000 But not when you're on the bus chilling, playing on plan on your phone by yourself. Right? Exactly. Like, no, no. All right. Wheels to lock in. Number two, Carden. Thank you. Card. In the carton of milk. I literally died laughing. When I saw that I was like, this is the best. Thank you. Thank you. Alright, well, I'll talk to you later. Bye Richard. Thanks for having me. Speaker 0 01:02:26.1199999 <inaudible> Speaker 2 01:02:29.2300000 Thank you, friends for listening. Please rate and follow this podcast or text card at (470) 588-1215 with comments and suggestions tune in next week for another disability topic.

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Schizophrenia Awareness with Bill MacPhee

Schizophrenia Awareness with Bill MacPhee Transcript https://rb.gy/t2hrxu Who is Bill MacPhee? Have you ever wondered what goes on in the mind of someone who is completely disconnected from reality? Is it really possible to live a “normal” life after being diagnosed with a mental illness? Bill MacPhee was diagnosed with Schizophrenia in 1987. He was just 19 when he started a pretty lucrative career as a commercial deep sea diver in Singapore. He was living his dream. Five years later, he was living a nightmare: Pacing a psychiatric ward, trapped in a world of illusions, delusions, paranoia and depression. He was convinced his life was over and even tried to make sure of it with a fistful of sleeping pills. But it’s what ultimately led him to build himself back up into a happier, more resilient person now. He is the author of the book “To Cry A Dry Tear”. He is retired CEO of Magpie Media, which published SZ Magazine, the award-winning magazine which encouraged people affected by mental illness. Bill has traveled across north America  to bring hope by sharing his struggles and triumphs with illness so that people living with living mental illness can see for themselves that living a full, rewarding, happy life was still possible after a diagnosis. Resources: Check out Bill’s book, website, and YouTube channel. Follow Carden on Instagram @cardenofmilk Find Carden everywhere  Special thanks to my producer Jonathan Raz on Fiverr Episode image is a book cover for To Cry a Dry Tear by Bill MacPhee Use referral code 'Carden' when downloading iAccessLife mobile app. ...


Episode 35

November 08, 2020 01:08:50
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Disability Inclusion = Equity with Advocate Anthony Frisina

Disability Inclusion = Equity with Advocate Anthony Frisina hosted by Carden Wyckoff Transcript https://rb.gy/nzc52v Who is Anthony Frisina? Anthony Frisina has a passion for accessibility and inclusion. He is driven by a community in Hamilton, Ontario, where he was born and still calls home today. Born with Spina Bifida he was privileged to adapt a “person first” mentality in his early years, a mindset he currently embodies in his every day life. “Adversity not only builds character it reveals it” and “It’s not about the amount of times you get knocked down, but by the amount of times you get back up” are two of his favourite quotes and they inspire the man he is today. He is a Mohawk College graduate in Enterprise Business; Office Administration Executive and when not working at Mohawk College as a Student Services Representative at The Square, he can often be seen with his wheels turning at Mohawk College. In 2014, he was inducted into an elite group as a Mohawk College Alumni of Distinction. When not at Mohawk he can be found in his community representing the Rick Hansen Foundation or the Catholic Youth Organization in an ambassadorial role and enjoys spending time with his family and friends. Anthony Frisina is truly a testament of character, overcoming many obstacles along the way, breaking down and breaking through barriers, so that he, along with the next generation, can enjoy an inclusive community, a community based on ability.   In this episode Anthony and Carden talk about: Anthony's journey living with Spina Bifida COVID and inclusion Forward movement Approaching conversations with businesses ROI on investment Adaptive equipment Transportation equity Resources: Connect with Anthony Twitter [email protected] @frisinaanthonyFacebook @Abovebeyondanthony Follow Carden on Instagram @freewheelinwithcarden ...


Episode 11

May 10, 2020 00:56:45
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Marc: Physician, FSHD Muscular Dystrophy, Pathway to a Cure

Ever wanted to know about whether attending medical school would be possible with FSHD muscular dystrophy? From medical school to residency to rehab medicine to pharmaceuticals, Marc Van de Rijn, MD defines all odds and successfully has a career in medicine. He dives into the accommodations provided to him during his education and speaks to the timeline for a cure for our muscular dystrophy.  Transcript: https://rb.gy/km2nzn ...