Never ever give up. Chase your dreams and do not let anything stand in your way. There are so many times where I could have given up or wanted to give up but I kept pushing myself. I had a mental breakdown and lost my mind and that did not stop me. That experience only made me stronger. I had to fight so hard to get my mind back and to become stable again. But unfortunately as time went on I started to forget the lesson that I had learned and I once again lost my mind. Then came the crash and the day that forever changed my life. I hit rock bottom once again. But I knew that if I could fight before that I could fight again.
My problems with bipolar disorder did not stop me. But now on top of that I had to fight against paralysis and in the beginning it seemed like a fight that I could not win. I truly believed that I would walk again and that was all that I cared about. I have fought so hard to be able to walk again but I am not winning that fight. I have done over 500 hours of physical therapy in the last year and I still am not on my feet. But I never will let the fact that I am paralyzed ruin my life. I have embraced it and it has changed me into a better person. I am more motivated than ever before and I am dreaming bigger than I ever have.
I died on January 22, 2011 and then I started a new life. I hated this new life at first. At one point I thought that I would be better off dead. I wished that I would have died in that crash. I was angry at God and angry at the world. I thought that all of my dreams were crushed and that I would not make anything of myself.
I did not think that I would finish at Ohio State but I did. For a while there I thought that I forgot how to smile but I learned how to do that once again too. For that first year I would cry every day to my mom but I’m happy to say that I have not cried once since I moved back to Columbus. Acceptance was the key to everything. I made a promise to myself that I would be happy even if I did not get out of this chair. There was no reason to live life bitter about my situation. I decided that I should just be happy to be alive.
God left me on this earth with an incredible story to tell. He taught me about patience and perseverance. He showed me how much I am loved. He left me with my right hand and my mind which is enough to achieve my dreams. I have learned so much about myself through this experience. I have learned that I am a fighter after looking back at all that I have overcome. I think most people would have given up by now. I was chosen for this. I was once told that God will never give you anything that is too big for you to handle. He knew that I could handle this situation, which is why I was chosen for it.
I’ve been this way for over two years now and they say that after two years that is where your body really stops recovering. But I was not disappointed when I hit the two-year mark. I am happy just the way I am. I have an exciting life ahead of myself. I have dreams that I am making a reality.
I am very proud to say that I recently finished my book. I currently am working with an agency and another guy to find an agent that will help me find a publisher and editor. I cannot wait to share my story with the world. After reading through my book it was hard for me to believe that I am still alive today. You will understand why some people call me the dumbest and smartest person they have ever met. Looking back at my trip to California makes me believe that I would be dead right now if I would have moved out there like I planned.
Yesterday I had an interview for TEDxOhioStateUniversity that went extremely well. If I am chosen as one of the 12 speakers I will speak in front of 700 people at Ohio State. I pray that I am chosen for this opportunity. I cannot wait to share my story with the world. If I am chosen they will let me know by March 4 so I will keep you updated as to what their decision is.
My accident was the defining moment in my life. I believe that it changed things for the better. All I want to do now is to help people live a more fulfilling life. To make people realize that their dreams are possible. I’m making my dreams come true with just one hand and my mind so you have no excuse. Figure out what makes you happy in this world. Surround yourself with good people because the people around you will shape you into who you are. Find friends that care about you and push you to do more and believe in you. Be grateful for every step you take and every breath you breath in. You never know when it will be your time so make sure you make your dreams come true before your time is up.