to be fair, it takes him a long time to get there. at first, he hates it; he remembers waking up with people hovering over him and pain and metal where his arm should have been, and out of all the awful things that happened during the war and his time as the winter soldier, that’s one of the ones that haunt his nightmares the most.
he also hates it because of the things he was forced to do with it; his arm has committed nothing but violence and it’s caused more pain and suffering than he wants to think about.
at first, he actively avoids using it, because he’s tired of using it to hurt people.
he doesn’t really start to think of it as a positive thing until he uses it during a rescue mission, to save civilians who are trapped under the rubble of a fallen building. with the arm, he can move chunks of rubble that even steve can’t budge, and he saves the lives of five people that day.
after that, he notices the little things he can use it for. he can open any jar in the cupboard, even when darcy has glued her mod podge shut again and even thor can’t open it. he doesn’t need an oven mitt to grab a hot pot off the stove when he’s helping clint cook. he can lift the couch with one hand and vacuum underneath it with the other.
he has a long talk with natasha about what it means to be unmade and the measures she’s taken to rebuild her life in the aftermath, and she quietly admits that she’s never talked about this to anyone but clint, and never in such detail. she tells him that he can’t change what they did to him, and she can’t change what they did to her; all either of them can do is make choices in the here and now, and remembering that helps her. bucky can’t decide if it upsets him or comforts him at first, but he thinks about it a lot.
it takes him a long time to get there, but eventually he decides that the most important thing about his arm is how he chooses to use it.