You can call me a bad person if you want, but when people are rude, hurtful and insensitive to someone with a disability, it infuriates me. It doesn’t matter what the disability is either. Actions like that are self-centered and simply uncalled for.
Over time, that anger builds up and I get to a point where I want to blurt out about my own disability, “If you could live in my body for just one day, you wouldn’t be so cruel. You’d realize that each day is a fight just to get out of bed. Some people with a chronic illness may be able to run marathons and work full-time jobs, but others have progressed to a point where it’s not even possible to brush their own teeth without resting first. Don’t fit me in a box and try to make my life fit into your way of thinking by refusing to even try and understand the battle I am facing everyday.”
(Okay, I’m off my soapbox now. Boy, did that feel good. Sometimes you just gotta let it out.)
If people could set their ego aside and step outside of their own self-made bubble, they would be able to see the pain and feel the hurts that are in each disabled persons life. I have days when the pain is horrible and the tears flow easily…both physical pain and psychological pain. There have been times when I couldn’t get out of bed because my legs wouldn’t cooperate, and other times when I couldn’t take a shower because I was so unsteady I just knew I would fall and hurt myself. I have other times when the struggle of just another day filled with limitations gets the best of me.
I truly wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through multiple sclerosis or deal with a disability, but I think it would be a welcomed option for some people because it would silence their hurtful words and cause them to think twice before acting in such a rude and heartless manner again. Many of you have shared your story with me of the hurts you carry due to the insensitivity of others. It breaks my heart to hear of the pain. If you are surrounded by those who get it, hold onto them…they are a keeper!
So, how do you cope in a world that overlooks the battle you are fighting each day? How do you deal with people who consider you a hypochondriac just because they can’t see your pain or understand your struggle? How do you face a day when you know you will spend it in tears because you feel so isolated and alone?
I know it’s not easy, but you have to hold onto the hope that there will be a better day tomorrow. Hold on for your kids, your spouse, your family, and your friends. Hold on for YOU!
You need a rest from the fight and to allow your thoughts to settle down. If you need to cry, go ahead and cry. If you need to scream, it’s okay to do that too. Let your frustrations and your anger out, then pause, collect your thoughts, pull yourself together, and step out into today.