Disabilities don’t have a single face. It is easy to assume that cerebral palsy is a one-size-fits-all condition based on the most common symptoms such as joint aches, a noticeably different walk, and fatigue.
That isn’t the case. False, in a blatant way. It’s my firm belief that the “I can’t” syndrome is driven in large part by this erroneous assumption. Many people don’t realise that while we all have limitations, we aren’t the same. All of us have stories worth telling that need to be heard, and we are capable of doing so. Is there a way to break the “one size fits all” myth? How do we persuade others to listen?
Breaking The Myth
Getting people together is, in my opinion, the most difficult part. Passion born of struggle, confidence gained from life’s lessons, and sheer willpower are the only things that can help someone succeed in the face of such scrutiny. Don’t give up! The “I can’t” syndrome should never be entertained. You’ve got to get yourself out of there. Don’t dwell on the things you can’t control.
Each of us has a different set of interests, abilities, and motivations, and our stories are unique. I believe that the most important part of success is to keep pushing the limits of oneself. Do not let yourself be stifled by your own self-imposed boundaries. Embrace them all, but don’t lose sight of what makes you unique and special in the eyes of the disability community: your heart and your passion.
Life Truly Blossoms
When you realise that a part of you may touch a part of someone else, life truly blossoms; you just never know when it will.. That little voice in your head that tells you you’re worthless? Don’t believe it. As an individual, you don’t fit into a box. Don’t be a couch potato. Let’s put community and disability together and see how it works.
Advocacy can be a rewarding path to follow; for me, writing was the key that unlocked a world of possibilities. I am proud to be a member of the Mighty family, a group of people with disabilities who work together. I’ve been so inspired by our shared experiences, and it’s a joy to meet people with a wide range of circumstances who can still connect with each other.
It is my mission, both as a mentor and an advocate, to encourage young people to embrace their unique identities. Many more young people must take up the cause of self-advocacy as well as the cause of others; they must comfort one another on the days when we’re exhausted or frustrated.
Feelings like that are completely normal. Unfortunately, life can be both messy and unfair. As a community, we must rely on each other and encourage others to see their perceived weaknesses as strengths. Let’s show the world what we’re made of by continuing to do what we’re doing. Come on, let’s get everyone together! Who’s on board?