It’s National Disability Awareness Month and here’s the top 10 things to love about having disability (at least mine):
1. I love that I’m so memorable; you never forget the handicap gal you met at a party.
2. I love that my shoes with a custom disability walking lift cost me twice what your designer pumps cost and they’re still butt ugly!
3. I love that the first question people ask me is, “what happened to your leg?” The conversation then ends, and they walk away after I answer.
4. I love that my dates want to just “be friends” after seeing my disabled walk.
5. I love that you treat me like I’m normal until I get up and walk in front of you; then your jaw then drops to the floor when you realize I’m disabled and you avoid looking me in the eyes again.
6. I love that my resume has to “look good enough” that you forget any preconceptions you because of my disability as you watch me limp out of your office.
7. I love that with my handicap it takes me four times as long as others without a disability to accomplish basics tasks, like cleaning the house, folding laundry, or walking to my car.
8. I love that people ask if I can have sex with my handicap, and when I answer, “yes,” they have that stupid look of disbelief on their face as their lips whisper, “how?”
9. I love that despite what I’ve endured to rise above my disability and get to where I am—a successful, professional, with a blessed life (and a disability), that I can be a real vindictive bitch and wish that tomorrow you wake to the nightmare of “walking in my shoes”; an experience that can be simulated by walking all day in public with only one shoe that has a three-inch sole, and an arm that can’t extend more than a foot from my body. For that is the only way I know to help you understand what it feels like to live with my disability and be treated like you’re disabled—if only for one day.
10. I love that in the spirit of National Disability Awareness Month, I can share my innermost fears and disappointments in hopes that it will inspire a future of inclusion for all. Perhaps that way others don’t have to endure the decades of discrimination I faced because of a disability.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: If any of these ‘loves’ leave you with a sense of sorrow, shame, or embarrassment, then my job as an author is done; may you be the strongest advocate for those with a disability in the future as possible. On the other hand, if you have a disability and felt inspiration or a heavy heart by this post, I invite you to ‘get in conversation’ with your personal support group and communicate your ‘top ten’; by doing so you are developing a new ‘muscle’ which I refer to as empowerment—which will serve to pull you in a direction that you want your life to take and help your support team understand your struggles a tad more in order to help you get there.