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What is it like to have a disability?

What is it like having a disability?

I often wonder that question not only for myself, but for others.

Every variable matters in answering that question.

What disability are you living with?

What’s the severity?

Are you independent/dependent?

Do you have family and/or friend support?

Are you in a romantic relationship or single?

Do you have a child/children?

Do you work?

How much of a commitment is it to just keep yourself going day to day?

What’s your financial standing?

…the list can go on…

There’s so many factors in a person living with a disability. So putting “disabled” people (lack of better words), in one box, is not fair.

We have different strengths, weaknesses, hobbies and obligations and should not be treated or labeled the same. If we’re able, {some of} us are putting forth the effort to be in the category of contributing to society, having/raising a family, volunteering, spreading kindness and love, teaching, learning…all while pushing through our diagnoses…it can be a lot to juggle!

Sometimes it takes a huge life changing event to know how much you’re capable of. Don’t sell yourself short; you have a lot of firey passion in you!

Regardless, I do have moments where I don’t feel like I’m doing enough.

However, I am getting better at stopping in my train of “what ifs” and literally saying aloud my contributions and blessings I’ve offered to the world; I’ve accomplished some and still fulfilling more. I feel more wholesome when I’m doing something useful–even if it’s the tiniest thing!

But what does someone deem as “doing enough?”

I made up an online survey asking two questions: 1) What do you feel makes a person normal? 2) What are some words that come to mind when you think of “disability?”

Here are some completely anonymous answers I got:

1)Their understanding of reality

2)Handicapped, unfortunate, struggle, sadness

1)Being treated how they perceive everyone else is treated or being able to have the same experiences they perceive everyone else has.

2)Inability, chronic, restrictive

1)There’s really no normal. I would say having a career and some type of inspiration such as a life goal, passion, family, etc would be a start.

2)Limited, inability, affect, trait, characteristic

1)How they interact with people. If you leave the interaction always thinking WTF?! Then something is off with that person.

1)Feeling emotions (happy/love/sad/anger/fear), socializing with the outside world (w/family, friends, coworkers, groups of like-minded peers with similar interests), Having aspirations or motivation to accomplish something in life — a job, a family, a passion or interest that helps get you out of bed each day.

2)Difficulties, obstacles, challenges, problem-solving, patience, assumptions, handicapped, misfortune, assistance, adversity, mobility, support, capable, proficient, skillful, fragile, frustrating, equal, inventive, handy, strong, disadvantaged, underestimated.

I love love love all the responses I got, but I just wanted to name a few to show you how some people believe a person living with a disability are resilient AF; while some think we’re just all the same and should be treated equally, and others have the image that we’re: unable, sad, limited…

It’s pretty awesome to hear all types of responses, because no matter how many resources and laws to overcome the stigma of “disability,” there still is an acceptance struggle out there. . People have a way to discriminate without discriminating. Sounds weird, but dissecting that one is for a whole other day. Stay tuned.

To put the spotlight on people who have a daily disability to power thru, in my eyes, will always take the cake. As much as I, and others, may want to be treated and seen as “equal” & a “normal part of society”, the truth is, we’re not there YET. Maybe some day, but not in the present. I still come in contact with those who feel sorry for me. Have pity. Make obstacles harder. Talk behind my back. Embarrass me. Work at not pointing me out as different (you shouldn’t have to work at that). Make endless excuses🙄

“Greater is He that is in you, than he is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4

Has the world come a long way in adapting and allowing someone with a disability do and see as much as an able bodied person?! Abso-freakin-lutley. A person using an assistive device and/or service dog are welcomed to move around the community near & far, go to school, have a great career, make a family, and more…

But disabilities aren’t always accepted upon others.

We have the power of who we want to be friends with and accept love from. We have the right to totally ignore: a bully and when manipulation is being played. We have the ability of choosing to leave the group of people who don’t want to show love & respect. Luckily, we have the right to choose how we react. That choice is what keeps a person dealt a shitty hand come up on top. Obstacles come and go for some; while others have constant hoops and turns and misfortune, but keep going. Mad respect!

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