Writing this blog and the way I live my life I always try to maintain a positive (but honest) attitude towards my disability and how I react to the world around me, however sometimes this is hard, really hard.
Without going down the whole ‘woe is me’ route, I’ve felt a little more stressed than usual lately (I’m a bit of an Anxious Annie anyway) but maybe this additional stress is because I have a ton of work that doesn’t seem to go away or the fact that just occasionally running your own care team and trying to live a ‘normal life’ is a pretty tall order, either way stress.
The one thing that has got to me lately is the way disabled people are viewed, we’re either seen as some kind of strange inspirational superhero or something that needs looking after or protecting, but why? I have noticed that it’s not actually a medical condition that disables someone; sometimes it’s the world around them.
Growing up, I never really thought of myself as disabled, I was just Holly, nothing remarkable, just a girl that couldn’t walk. It wasn’t until I was referred to social services at 19 that the world changed. I was a ‘vulnerable adult’ a term in which I positively hate. The only thing that makes me vulnerable is the attitudes of others.
The thing that hurts me the most is when people treat me as if I’m a child or stupid just because I’m disabled or when people put me on this obscure pedestal. My disability is totally physical and yes ok, I have some deep-rooted anxiety issues but in all honesty most of those issues have only been caused because of this overwhelming need I have to prove myself to others and not because I use a wheelchair.
Sometimes it can feel like being disabled that nothing is expected of you and anything that you do, do is a massive achievement. This isn’t ok, just because I somehow know how to put an outfit together at the age of 24 doesn’t mean you have to congratulate me or be surprised that I have a relatively high level of education just like half of the population.
In a weird way not being expected but doing these things sometimes works in my favour, it means that I can make people listen to me. It means I try to make organisations and other people see disability differently.
That being said it still hurts that in the year of 2015, some people still find it acceptable to treat me differently, that is a reality that I should never have to accept. Now I’m not saying that everyone should like me, far from it. I’m saying that people should like or dislike me based on who I am not what disability I have. Please don’t judge me on the one thing I have no control over.
So based on that, here are some non-disabled things about me (and feel free to judge me all you like)
- If you haven’t guessed already, I have an opinion on almost anything and love conversation.
- I would love to be a fashion or beauty consultant.
- I have a pretty crude sense of humour.
- My ‘list’ of celebrity crushes has more women than men.
- I would love to have children one day.
P.S Just a piece of advice, if you’re having a bit of hard time try and talk to someone there’s more people that care about you than you probably realise, and they might just have something valuable to say and if not, well a listening ear means a problem shared is a problem halved.