Congratulations to Ben and Erica VanTreese and Thank You For One of Best Days of My Life!

I look down at my legs and no matter how hard I think and try to move them nothing happens. I stare at my left hand and try to curl my fingers but nothing happens. Then I look at the one physical thing that I have left which is my right hand. It does what I want it to do. It’s a blessing to have and without it I would have so much less independence. I’ve grown used to doing everything with my right-hand. I almost forget what it’s like to have both.

I’m left with my mind but with a mind that can no longer control a majority of my body. It’s crazy to think that just a bruise on my spinal cord could make you lose so much control. Sometimes I just want to tap my foot to the beat of the music but I can’t. I just want to get up and dance. But yesterday I proved that I can still dance without my body.

Two of my best friends were getting married yesterday and I asked the bride if I could dance with her. So I took her out to the center of the dance floor and she sat on my lap. I spun around in circles really fast until she said she was too dizzy to go any more. As I spun around everyone cheered and took pictures.

I was later asked by several girls if they could dance with me. I wasn’t sure how I would pull this off but I agreed to it anyways. Before my accident I was a terrible dancer and I would avoid the dance floor at all costs. But today I do not care if people stare at me or I make a full out of myself.

So later that night I went back to the dance floor and danced with a girl. I spun her around and she spun me around. She said I was a better dancer than most of the guys out there and I was in a wheelchair. While I danced with her I couldn’t help but look around and see all of the people sitting down afraid to go out and dance. It made me think of myself before the accident when I actually cared what people thought about me. But why do we care so much? I wanted to get these people to come out and dance but I did not. But I was wondering if they were thinking that if the guy in the wheelchair was out there dancing then why shouldn’t they be out there.

After I danced with the first girl I found myself surrounded by four beautiful girls who all danced around me in a circle. I was having the time of my life and had the biggest smile on my face. I left the dance floor to be greeted by my date who had found a secret admirer. It was a six-year-old boy named Lincoln. Earlier that night we were sitting by the dance floor and Lincoln was dancing with a little girl and looked back at my date and winked at her. Lincoln was an incredible dancer and he asked her to come dance with her. They danced and for the rest of the night he would not leave her side.

I went out of the ballroom and my date sat on my lap. Lincoln stood by us and my date asked him if he wanted to sit on her lap. So I sat there with my date and Lincoln on my lap and I was incredibly happy. Soon enough girls rushed to get their cameras out to take pictures. I spent most of the rest of the night with the two of them on my lap. Lincoln saw me spin around with Erica earlier and he wanted to do the same. So we found a spot where there was room and spun around. Then we went back outside to get a drink.

I wanted a vodka with cranberry. Lincoln knew that I wanted a drink so he ran in and cut the line and tried to get a drink for me. He came back with a drink but it was only cranberry juice but it was hilarious that he tried. I then sat there with him and he asked what happened to me. I said that I was in a car accident. I then started talking about how I used to waterski with Ben. He looked at me confused and asked how I waterskied in a wheelchair. I explained that I had only been like this for two years. He thought I had been like this my whole life.

Lincoln had a hard time saying goodbye to my date because he knew he would miss her. He even gave him his phone number so that they could FaceTime. He liked my name because it was the same as his dad and he said goodbye to me.

Yesterday I had the time of my life at that wedding. I watched my friend Ben and my friend Erica get married and it made me so incredibly happy. I was honored to be a groomsman because he had only chosen two friends as groomsmen and the rest were family. He has been the best friend to me since my accident. Erica was the one who organized the incredibly successful fundraiser that they had for me at Ohio State right after my accident. I love these two people to death and I cannot wait until they get back from their honeymoon so that I can hang out with them once again.

The bridal party went out of their way to accommodate me during the wedding. They made sure that the castle that we had the rehearsal dinner at was accessible. They even got a party bus for after the wedding for the bridal party that had tiedowns so that I could sit in there safely. I had to be carried on and off of the bus but they did that without complaining. But they did get a bus that was twice as large as what they should’ve got, because I was in a wheelchair, for the same price.

Yesterday was a day that made me really appreciate that I am still alive. It made me want to have a little kid like Lincoln one day. It made me want to get married and find the love of my life. I’m so incredibly happy for Ben and Erica. It is rare to see true love but they have definitely found it. Life just keeps getting better for me. Seeing my friends happy makes me incredibly happy.

I’ve learned that we can’t be afraid that other people are watching and we just need to let loose and have fun. I’m having more fun than I have ever had in my life and I am in a wheelchair. I think it is because I finally slowed down and learned to appreciate things. Try to slow things down and take in what is good in your life. It is working for me and I believe that is the only way that you should live.

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3 thoughts on “Congratulations to Ben and Erica VanTreese and Thank You For One of Best Days of My Life!

  1. You overwhelm me with joy. I print out your writings for Mike and Grandma to enjoy. Grandma spent the weekend with us and one of the writings was the one for your Mom on Mother’s Day. I don’t think I have ever seen her so happy. She has been so depressed for so long, and you brought her out of her depression all weekend and she had a wonderful time. She loves you so!

  2. Hi Adam, I just saw your TEDx talk and was very inspired! I too have bipolar disorder and had two psychotic breaks in the past. I am now back in medical school and trying to pursue my dream of being a physician even though I know my mind can turn against me. I too have started a blog to chronicle my journey. Keep up the good work!
    Benjy
    http://bipolarmedstudent.wordpress.com/

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