I could feel it in my hands, even though it wasn’t there. I was sitting in my wheelchair, alone and overwhelmed. I felt my inadequacies keenly. It’s in moments like these that I come closest to despair. It’s in moments like these that I question who I am, who I’m supposed to be, and feel that the world has been cheated by getting this Dave and not that Dave.

I was immobilized. Not by my disability. Not by the wheelchair. But by the weakness of that comes when the darkness within cast shade on any possible light. I knew I had to do something.

This is not the first time that I’ve experienced this.

I’ve had messages for most of my life about my worth as a human being.

Not good enough.

Not smart enough.

Too fat.

Too ugly.

Too stupid.

I hear the words attached to those messages. I no longer wonder if those who used them realize that I, by the nature of my construction, would have to bear their weight my whole life long. I think not of them, but of me. And what I am.

It’s in moments like these that I forget that I have it. Hidden away. Far away and deep inside, I have kept it safe.

It’s a photograph, not the kind taken by cameras but the kind taken when a moment in time intersects with magic and flashed by joy. I have a few of these. But there is one. It’s far to personal to describe, but it’s there. I look at it sparingly because the light from it hurts me. Like when a bandage closes a wound, it hurts.

I felt it in my hands, this picture.

And I looked at it.

From the photograph slowly came strength. Slowly came a new language into my mind. Language that suggested that I do have strength, that my own voice is as powerful as the ones that ripped me down, that I can go and I can do.

And that.

Of course.

Doing Damns The Darkness.