Topic: Please submit a 'visual poem', in a style of your choosing, on the theme of overcoming a personal challenge.
1800wheelchair is very proud to announce the winner of our Spring '16/Summer '16 scholarship contest. With well over 400 entries, this one stood apart for its arresting visuals and its compelling story.
The inspiration behind this poem are the struggles I have had to deal with going through life being handicapped. My teenage years were spent in hospitals trying to stabilize me. When I was ten years old I was on the brink of death after I had a massive stroke that paralyzed my right side. The next seventy-two hours was truly a game of trying to keep me alive. I kept blacking out, I was, for the most part comatose. After those seventy-two hours I had to retrain my brain on everything, it was like I was starting from scratch as a new born baby. I had to learn how to eat, talk, walk, read and write all over again. My life was turned upside down and inside out and to top it off I did not understand half of what the doctors were saying, given that I was only ten.
When I was finally able to go back to school, half the year had already gone by. I had lost my hair due to chemo, and I had gained around seventy pounds due to all of the steroids I was taking. The friends I had since kindergarten did not know what to say to me so they just did not say anything at all to me. I became a recluse for the next ten years.
In the following years I had blood clots shooting into my brain, two major brain surgeries with a mini stroke, also known as a TIA, in between them. I got seizures from stress caused because my father making my mother and me run from everything we had known and putting two states in between us and his abusiveness. I went into a major depression after my mother and I moved away from my father. When I was nineteen I got the shingles from once again stress, however this time it was because my mother nearly flatlined after her knee replacement because she had a blood clot in her lungs.
My life has been one giant rollercoaster from the day I had my stroke when I was ten years old, to the serious depression I went through from the age of 16 to 20. I have had to battle for my life more times than I care to count. I have had my emotions thrown out the window of a fighter jet and me going after them. I have realized that finding the little joys throughout the day is the best medicine.
I have been through more hard times than I wish on anyone. Even though I have looked death in the eyes one to many times, I have come out on the other side a different person then I was going in. I have come out happier than ever with dreams to fulfill and as I said in my poem I would not give up any of the hardships I have had to struggle with for they have made me who I am today, a bright and smiling person ready for whatever the world throws at her.
I am twenty-one
And have had to overcome more obstacles
Than any child should
I have had medical problems
After medical problems
After medical problems
But I have come out all right.
I have had to deal with being different
For the better part of my life.
I have had a stroke
At the meager age of ten
Blood clots at twelve
Brain surgery, epilepsy, and shingles
All before the age of twenty
But I have turned out all right.
Before I was 20 I was sad
For four years
But that is now in the past
With a happier and brighter me
Full of hope and dreams
Of the future.
Everyone gets sad
At some point in their life
It is a part of being human.
I have emerged on the other side
Stronger and brighter than ever before.
And it all has to do
With my state of mind,
Everyone has bumps in the road
That they have to work through,
These are mine,
And I wouldn’t trade them for the world
Fore they have made me who I am today
And that is all that matters.