Sophie quickly came to terms with the fact that the crash was her fault alone and was grateful that
her friends hadn’t been physically harmed. But mentally and emotionally, the experience left scars that would take a long time to heal.
“I don’t know what it would’ve been like if they had injured me or I them. It was a saving grace. But to this day, they’re reluctant passengers.”
Sophie’s tendency to push boundaries kept her moving though and she very quickly got herself back behind the wheel of a car, knowing that learning to drive would play an important role in achieving her own independence.
That was her main coping mechanism – focusing on what she could still do, not what she couldn’t. Then, finding ways to teach herself the things she didn’t know how to do.
Like learning how to get in and out of the bath, to sit on the toilet, so she could stay the night with friends who didn’t have an adaptive bathroom.
“I found the tricks I needed to live life without adaptations as much as possible.”
At such a young age, Sophie felt like she was coming back into the world with a blank slate. Her sense of identity wasn’t truly formed yet, and she took it as a blessing that she could go out and be whoever she wanted to be.
“No partner, no responsibilities, no job, but I hadn’t lived a huge life. There were things I hadn’t done. There were pros and cons for sure.”
But Sophie wanted to be as positive as possible and pursued her dream of becoming an artist, going headstrong into art school.
One of Sophie’s main drivers in life is to make the world more accessible to better support the disabled community. But here she says she exercises caution, because there is a danger with making things too adaptive.
“The more we rely on equipment and gadgets, the more we become dependent.”
The more you are able to adapt to the environment the better, rather than waiting for the environment to adapt to meet your needs, says Sophie.