4 Wheels Episode 1: Adaptability

Episode 1: Adaptability In this episode of 4 Wheels, Dom examines adaptability, the hassles of moving, "accessible" housing, and how exhausting it is for #disabled people to always have to adapt to our surroundings.

4 Wheels podcast cover

Amanda: Hi everyone, I’m Amanda Jurysta, producer of Four Wheels and a Mic.

In this episode, Dominick explores adaptability and disability, including: moving and routines by relating his experience in a group home setting. He also discusses the Loss of Stability, the challenges of dealing with instability for an extended  period of time, and the excitement and exhaustion that come with constantly having to adapt. Dominick concludes by detailing flaws in the system, and for disabled people adaptation is the way things are , even though it’s a challenging and exhausting process. Thank you for joining us. “Four Wheels and a Mic” is a project of DisArt.

Dominick:  Hello, everybody. Welcome to Four Wheels And A Mic podcast with your host, Dom AKA  Four Wheels And A Mice. And in today’s episode is the very first episode about adaptability.

Dominick:  Adaptability.  

My motto is, you got to be uncomfortable. You got to learn to be uncomfortable when you’re disabled. Like, I always try to believe that wholeheartedly, but then you get used to like the routine, the routes, the things you take to make life a lot easier. And then when it’s that adjustment period, it’s like, Do I really have to go through this again? But every human feels that way when they, you know, move or whatever. I get that. But I think it’s a level of inconvenience. There’s always going to be a pain for me still. And that’s pretty human.

Dominick:  I haven’t been stable in a very long time, my stability got taken away from me. It’s not exciting for me to keep moving.

Dominick:  It’s exciting when you’ve always been in one place for a long time that I get, you know? But for me, it’s just like, Oh, okay, relearn the ropes. I’m over here, I’m still in the same place. So it’s cool. I got to relearn the routes, got to map out this side of the city. And it’s not built on a grid like Detroit or some other cities that are major where usually everything’s on a grid. And it kind of makes sense to traverse this place. It’s kind of odd. 

Dominick:  You know shit all this It sucks though like you like you said, it becomes a constant norm. So you need to get used to it because everything always changes. That’s the, you know, it’s the philosophy and the overall understanding and humanity. But as a disabled person, the, the rate of shit changing is more Constant. So constant sometimes we can’t even adjust to the way we were moving a week ago, two weeks. You know what I’m saying. Things can just abruptly change so quick. And I think it just becomes exhaust…. It’s more not I don’t like  change, it’s more like it’s just exhausting.

Dominick: It’s exhausting because one thing too is, I live with other people that don’t really think about disability. So when people find places, I’m happy that we found a place. But nobody thought how deep it was away from things that I like to do for my own personal enjoyment. So it’s like, Oh, okay, well, you know, because this was such an emergency. And then also dealing with a landlord that is now secretly regretting his sort of regretting his decision on kicking us so abruptly, even though he gave us three months, that’s still not enough time for people that have to find how am I going to move all my equipment that I need. That’s just not one move truck, You know what I’m saying? That’s several. It’s a longer process than a basic move. And, you know, these things are things you think of, you don’t , you don’t necessarily think about, which you think about. 

Dominick: I think that longing to be a part of the world is in all of us. But for me, even if the world told me I couldn’t belong, I’d find a way to belong somewhere or not, or just make everybody else uncomfortable. So I get comfortable where I’m at, so I don’t know. Like, it’s  a weird space, but, like, that’s about adaption, right? We’re adapting to our environment. And I think that’s the beauty of being disabled sometimes is we’re compassionate, adaptable people, but the irritation of change that has to come for that adaption is exhausting. 

Dominick: The world don’t give a shit bro You better figure some shit out. come on. I help ya out. Yeah, but come on, let’s go.  Let’s get going. You know

Dominick:  A lot of people. A lot of people don’t get that. That’s why I like as a mentor. I try to be as honest and as still understanding enough to be compassionate and to be like, Listen, so this shit works because I have I know some very privileged disabled people, in just physical ability and social economic standing, you know what I’m saying? That had opportunities to get higher education without much of a cognitive struggle or physical struggle. And they get into positions of being really high up in the in the advocacy or the disabled placement. But they have no they don’t look at where everybody is, you know, where people are at, what I’m saying

Dominick:  And if it wasn’t for me being in this adapting to this kind of group home situation, once again, I’m back to adaption.

for eight years. I was living pretty smoothly compared to people that I knew living in group homes and I used to be like, well, you know, I get that it’s messed up and I get where it is because I’m listening to their stories and digesting what they’re telling me. But having that freedom of choice stripped away, like sort of but having it but is not being respected enough and not being cultivated enough the way I was used to making you go, All right, this is why the universe put me in this situation, because I’m a person instead of me being going, okay, why am I here? I have to learn to adapt to to better the next person that I’m going to interact with, because I’m always going to interact with someone. That’s the way the universe works and it’s the way everything goes into place. So I try to look at it like that but it’s still tough, it’s still  tough to adapt.I hate moving I hate the fact that I put a ADA accommodation just to get into a fucking door, to a place that’s already accessible.

Dominick:  I hate the kind of condescending nature of people talking to me because my roommate. are more cognitively disabled than me. So we fill out paperwork. I have to make sure my voice is extra heard and I show people.like yo, I got some common sense and some understanding of what this shit is, so let’s keep it moving.

Dominick:  Get used to adaption being a way of life for any disabled person wherever you are in life. This adoption has to come, but it also becomes tiring. So don’t feel bad about being tired about it or being exhausted about it and being annoyed about it. Like these things are just normal. Things have to change, but the level of care or whatever level yet, just remember the level of care and detail is definitely different than the outside mainstream world can even understand. And it’s not built for you and it’s not your fault that it’s not built for you. It’s nothing to do with you. The system is fucked and we have to adapt and that’s it. System is fucked, we have to adapt and it’s annoying and exhausting.     

Dominick:  Well, everyone, that was the first episode. Hope you enjoyed it. Leave a comment, like, let’s have a deeper conversation about this because this is not just a podcast about me, it’s a community. And that’s why it’s called Four Wheels Corner, I’m your host Four Wheels And A Mike  signing off for next time.


Music Credit: Action Sport Extreme Metal by Studio Kolomna