Confidence is an important thing to have in life and when you don’t have it, you experience almost the feeling of being lost and hopeless. Marcus Garvey once said “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life”. 

In the last couple of years, my confidence has been at an all-time low. I would second guess myself all the time and I have always thought that it would take something short of a miracle to gain even an ounce of it back. Turns out I was very wrong. 

In recent months, I have had to become more mobile when it comes to my arthritis. My walker, which I had relied on to help me walk around the house, broke and I was unable to afford a new one. I didn’t want to waste money buying a new one so I decided to try my luck walking around the house unaided and ask for the help of my family when I need it. 

I haven’t had any sort of confidence when it comes to my walking. I’ve been relying on a wheelchair now for almost three years and it has meant that I have allowed myself to become lazy and has taken away the confidence I had in my body to walk. I’ve been left feeling vulnerable and anxious in my own ability to walk. Something that happened this week almost helped bring back some of the confidence I had lost.

Up until a couple of days ago, I hadn’t realised just how long it has been since any of my family members had seen me walk. I live with my parents and younger brother who now see me walk on a daily basis. My other siblings and their children I don’t see often and the last time they saw me, I was using the walker to move around the house. 

In fact I have 4 nephews and 2 nieces who are aged 10 and under, they have never seen me as anything other than their auntie who’s in the wheelchair and can’t walk. 

This hit me the other day when my 3 year old niece saw me walking out of the kitchen and started jumping up and down shouting for me to do a magic trick. At first I was seriously confused and asked myself who gave this seriously cute 3 year old sugar and got her hyper? I realised that she thought me walking was magic. She had only ever seen me in a wheelchair or take very few steps and seeing me walking into the kitchen and back was a big deal for her. 

Something that I have been doing for weeks and didn’t seem like a big deal wasn’t made into one until she had gotten excited about it. It turns out that this whole time I was doing something that I should have been very proud of myself for and I just didn’t have the confidence in myself to actually do it. 

When I walk now, I don’t even look at the people around me in case they have some reason to judge me for it and in fear that it will put me off. I am forcing my body to move about more than I ever thought I would. I have had some doubtful moments and I have realised that I am tougher than I think. 

Something that used to send me into a state of complete and utter panic now doesn’t seem as scary anymore. I would constantly be in fear of falling down and I would let it stop me from trying. Now I am more open to the challenge of pushing myself a little more every day.

For so long I haven’t had the confidence in my own ability to walk and really any confidence in myself. I know that I will always have confidence issues and they will always be there in the back of my mind, but I can hope that the ounce of confidence I have gained will continue to grow. 

Megan Howse- Blogger Bee