I always have.
It’s a label that nobody wants – disabled. It just sounds bad, doesn’t it?
The prefix ‘dis’ definitely has a negative connotation. Words like disappoint, dislike, or disagree are not words that give you warm and fuzzies on the inside.
But alas, some of us are blessed with certain genetics or twists of fate in which we find ourselves labeled a ‘disabled’ person.
The actual definition of the word (according to Wikipedia) is “an impairment that may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory, or some combination of these. It substantially affects a person’s life activities and may be present from birth or occur during a person’s lifetime.”
So why does the word bother me so much?
I mean, it’s true – I do have a physical impairment.
Though I am lucky in that none of my friends or family have ever treated me any differently. In fact, most days I forget that I am missing two cranial nerves. It’s really on the off chance that it’s even brought up.
The reason it bothers me though is the same issue with most labels. I don’t want to be defined by my disability – just like I don’t want to be defined by my job, relationships, or the clothes I wear.
I’ve never wanted anyone to think I was less capable, less qualified, or less able than your average Joe. That word creates a stigma. A stigma that this person (who is usually in this position through no fault of their own) is somehow less of a person.
Here are some things I’ve learned over the years:
- You cannot change your disability.
- Ignoring it will not make it go away.
- Everyone who truly loves you doesn’t see you your disability.
- This thing you have DOES NOT define you.
- You are a badass with or without your limitations.
Do you have a disability and also struggle with being labeled? Let me know below what your thoughts are and how you cope! Keep being beautiful.