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JOHN B.  |  SEATTLE

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Meet John.

I was a journeyman electrician, working in custom remodels around Seattle. I was pretty good at what I did. I really enjoyed my life, enjoyed my job, had lots of really good friends and had plenty of money and fun. Then when I was 26, I was in a rollover car accident and I was paralyzed.

I’ve talked to paraplegics and quadriplegics online and it’s really striking to me because they are in a pretty heavy place mentally.

We are so individualistic in this society.

To me it’s crazy how disconnected we have become from each other. Nobody knows each other. Nobody talks and the coronavirus has made the situation much worse.  I am social and I talk to a lot of people when I am out walking my dogs. And most of the time I hear back from these people, and they are like, yeah, you are the only neighbor we know the name of.

I think people see me as non-threatening because I am in a wheelchair.

Mental health is fragile. It’s important. It doesn’t take a lot to damage it, but I don’t know any good coping strategies. The main one that I fall back on is making my bowls. There’s just no room for anything in your mind other than exactly what you are doing. You just sink right in and just kind of meditate for the amount of time you are working. That’s a major stress relief.

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