October is such a wonderful time of the year, leaves are turning, people are getting ready for Halloween, but best of all, it’s a month full of awareness. While many people know October for Breast Cancer Awareness (which I also support; my hair is currently pink!), it is also Disability Awareness Month.
Disabilities can obviously take up much of your life (why else would I write a column about it?!), and it’s easy to get lost in the pain, the constant worry of getting sick, and even the looks. Yes, at 21, I still worry about the looks and judgment people might have about me. It’s so easy to let that control you.
Many people I know who have disabilities, ranging from common ones to rare illnesses, succumb to this worry. It’s not their fault, they didn’t do anything. They’re not failures. But trust me, the whole point of the Spoon Theory is to show that our lives are 10 times harder. For instance, while many people in what was supposed to be my 2016 college class are finishing up their college years, I’m only on my sophomore year because I take two classes at a time.
It is very easy for people who deal with disabilities of any kind to feel like they’re letting people down in some way because they can’t finish college or necessarily able to hold up a 9-5 job. It causes depression and feelings of worthlessness because, for many of us, our brains are fine and able and want to do the work (and can!), but our bodies can’t. I know some of the most talented people who, like me, feel worthless.
But I don’t want this to just be a sad article, so here are some good things:
- People with disabilities are We don’t mind joking about things because humor is a coping mechanism.
- Often times, people with disabilities are amazingly talented. Some rock at making jewelry, some write, some are wicked smart, and none of us are just our disability.
- When we get together, we have fun! I’ve seen so many people get together and help each other when they’re having bad days.
- We’re there for each other. No matter what’s going on – a bad day, a broken heart, anxiety about doctors – we lend support because we get it.
Getting people together to form The Spoonies for a con that comes to Orlando every year is probably one of the best things I’ve ever done. I love seeing the community, people able to be themselves without judgment. Seeing that in action is the best thing ever. People believe that Disability Awareness Month should be a sad thing, but just like breast cancer, we should support and think good things about these people. It’s not always sad. We don’t always sit in bed wishing we were someone else.
We live, we love, we go on with our lives.