Every now and then I get asked how I stay so positive and my simplest answer is that I have no choice not be, really! I was born with a disability so I have no idea what it feels like to exist without one, but one thing I have learned is it’s not about living with the actual disability, it’s about your attitude too. I must say now that I make no apologies for this post…
Disability affects many people’s lives in many different ways: disability can be physical, mental or behavioural and either visible or invisible. But one thing that is the same, that affects all people with disabilities, regardless of what it is, is the way you view yourself and the attitude you have to life. You are only as disabled as you feel. Allow me to elaborate…
Social media is a great way for people to support and connect with each other over an array of different issues, (heck I hope this blog is helping just one person and I’ll be happy) but one thing I find is social media can be a breeding ground for negativity and self-pity. Well here’s something not many people like to hear: Get Over yourself! Going into great detail about how your disability makes you feel crappy won’t help, telling me all the things that you can’t do won’t mean you can do them either! This is not to say you can never moan about life, far from it (I moan on average 3 times a day, usually about idiots parking in disabled bays when they shouldn’t, or the fact that the lift in the local New Look has never worked since I’ve lived here, to name a few) But it’s pointless wallowing, the only person who loses is you!
The way I see it, there is a clear difference between a person with a disability and a disabled person.
The person with a disability will carry on life despite the disability. They’ll accept some knockbacks but not let this rule their life, after all they are a person first and foremost. If you were describing your personality would you say how tall or short you were? No? Because the disability doesn’t affect who you are as a person.
As for a disabled person, well they are just that – disabled. Life becomes a battle. You and them. Separated. I’m not a counsellor but if this is how living with a disability is for you, then please talk to someone. Make a list of all the things you can do. Be happy. And remember that there is always someone out there who would love the ability that you have. For so long I spent so much time actually avoiding people with disabilities as I was convinced that all they did was moan and discuss how living with an illness or disability was so awful. I’m not saying my life is easy but the second I accepted what I could do, it got a whole lot easier.
I hope anyone reading this can see that it’s not all that bad. There is a lot to be thankful for and, frankly, much more pressing issues to discuss, like will the DFS sale ever end? or will Friends ever come back for a reunion special?
Until Next Time