I wrote this to enter a competition... I may have gotten a little carried away, but it is all true.
This is how I made my world bigger.
I went back out in the world again.
Long story short, I got out a lot, I travelled, volunteered and worked in different countries, different cultures and with different species of animals. I climbed, mountaineered, abseiled, sailed, snowboarded.
You could say in the few short years I've been on this earth, I lived.
It's ironic, it's when I stopped traveling, stopped taking risks, began to settle down, my life changed.
I could have injured myself falling off a cliff, attacked by an animal, hell even beaten up, robbed and left for dead. No. My life changed when I began to swap my life for working in an office to put dinner on the table, settled in Bulgaria with my then fiancée as we planned our wedding.
Going back to my pre-travel days, hell, to my pre-teens - I had a condition called Scoliosis (itself possibly linked to a scout climbing accident & an incident with a car) I have a curve in my neck, middle spine and lower. I had operations where the discs were removed from my spine, the bone fused and metal rods screwed in for support.
I almost died, I proved resistant to the anaesthetic waking up before the procedure was done, found I was allergic to morphine having fever like symptoms, rashes, hallucinations and other side effects. Sounds fun right? To make things more interesting, I then caught the MRSA bug in my spine, had that flushed out, my wounds becoming a superbug playground.
Basically my nerves were pretty much messed up and eaten away.
As a result of this a couple of things happened, I refused to take any pain relief, not even aspirin for a migraine, ignored the pain as the neurons grew in rather odd places, and ten years later, a month or so before the planned wedding, when one of the hooks securing the metal rods slipped, tearing through a nerve cluster, scarring confused the signals and I basically lost control of my arms and legs, am now reliant on so many meds if I jumped up I'd rattle, lost my job, my home and without any disability support in Bulgaria I had to leave my fiancée behind and move back to England with my parents.
For a while I was practically bed bound, battling regaining control and depression, I rarely braved the outside for two years more.
My then fiancée became my true inspiration, I tried to push her away, to break things off with her so many times, she said no, stuck by me, left her friends, family and country behind to care for me and is now my wife.
She puts up with racism, threats and mindless insults, the UK now is a scary place to be if you happened to be born in a different country, one she had barely even visited, yet she gave up her job as a manager for a multinational company to come here to push my fat arse around and put up with me and more than she should.
£30 a month carers benefit and little to no praise, I don't know how she does it.
I have gained some control (otherwise I wouldn't be able to type to you now), yet it is she who has helped me and supported me, got me back into the world, to meet my friends again, allowed to realise that though it is unlikely I will never regain complete control physically, I am still the same man that was dumb enough to travel Europe with little money, run out and get stuck.
Thanks to her boosting my confidence I have now got back out into the world, became interested in my local community, volunteered at local groups, became drafted in as a councillor, became involved in politics and now I will be standing for the Green Party for Needham Market and surrounding areas for the 2015 elections (sorry for the plug - couldn't resist)...
No, wait, I was wrong before, I lied.. and not just about making a long story short.
Getting back into the world again wasn't what made my world bigger; it was meeting the amazing, loving, beautiful, talented and inspirational woman that I am lucky enough to call my wife.