I read somewhere that said “There is no greater disability in society, than the inability to see a peerson as more” but what about the inability to see yourself as more than the disability. I personally experienced this for a long time after acquiring my disability.
My physical disability made me feel I was not seen for my true self because of my body and what it can’t do. A negative self image feeds in to low self-esteem and how much you feel you are worth and valued. I started to feel worthless, to doubt my very exsitance.
Someone has to get me out of bed each morning and get me on to my shower chair
– Someone has to help put my clothes on, cook’s food for me and helps me to bed at night. There was always something bubbling beneath the surface, wondering whether or not I was a burden to my family, friends and loved ones.
BUT I learned after a long time,through the help of loved ones, that I was MORE THAN A DISABILITY and I had to stop looking at myself like that because they certainly weren’t!
I am a Daughter, a Sister, an Auntie, a Friend,a niece. I am a masters neuroscience graduate. I am strong and feisty! Oh ya, I have a spinal cord injury. I stopped comparing myself to everybody else. When we compare ourselves to others we self hate. We are all unique, each of us a person of value with a different path in life. My family reminded me of my true identity and dignity.
I don’t see myself as “a disabled person” ,hard as that may be to belive inspite of my very obvious lack of movement. For me a weak,defeatist attitude makes a person of all abilities disabled. I focus everyday on what I can do, learn,achieve,create! I focus on my ability and not my disability.
The strength, mentally and physically it takes everyday to live a life with a spinal cord injury is immense. You have to work harder than an abled people to get basically everywhere. If it’s a job or just a visit to the shop. Everything asks more of you and you learn how to deal with that. It’s not easy but people notice it and they will respect you for that. But ultimately it starts with you!