Why Do You Call Yourself Disabled?

bird with one leg taking offAble or Disable

You must do two things before you can honestly answer that question. You must realize the difference between disabled and abled. Not a silly distinction but it is a concrete distinction. Are you disabled because you feel safe in your wheelchair? Do you obsess on things you can’t do? Is your regret unresolved and you see what you can not do rather than what you can accomplish. That is the first question. Have you changed your perspective or are you trying to do what other people ask of you. In many ways the question being disabled means that you are either feeling that you are in charge of your life or you are turning to others to help you in your struggles. You are as disabled as you think you are.

Your Problem or Their's

The second question is how open are you to those who don’t care about this whole discussion. You see them occasionally living their life to the best of their ability. They are not righteous. They’re not here to show off. They are not obsessed. They are comfortable with what they have and have the gracefulness and the humility to not to be angry at what they fail at. It is not measuring what you can and can’t do nor if you compare your self to other people. People who do not consider themselves disabled are not comparing themselves to other people. They may have goals but they are their own goals. They do not think about things they can’t do anymore that they compare themselves with others. Their self-confidence is not tied up in other people. If someone calls them slow or something even more derogatory like a cripple they ignored it. Their goal is to fight their fear and challenge themselves with something new every day. They have an internal sense of who they are and what they can do. They may say they are limited only by their fears and do not look at their lives in terms of the tragedies but rather the accomplishments. You are as disabled as you think you are.

Changing Your Perspective

Lastly, we have to accept that there is a grief process we all have to go through. It is our loss and our reevaluation of what we are and what we have to do differently. At some point, we must decide that it is entirely up to us to accept our limitations without condemning us to be disabled.

Let’s say that disabled is when you feel down and able is when you are at peace with what you are. You can deal with the disabled days and if they take too long to realize that you need some inspiration. It is time to change your perspective and concentrate on future goals rather than feeling that you are stuck. You are as disabled as you think you are. Inspiration can come from inside with the decision to try something new or something that used to be scary for you all can come from outside seeing someone else who seems to be stronger, more limber, and more aware of the body they now have rather than the one they use to have.

So Why Do You Call Yourself Disabled?

This is not a question you can simply be answered yes or no. It involves your degree of self-confidence, your anger at being frustrated, and comparisons you make with people who have two good legs. In this question you’re either labeling your limitations or your are answering questions other people have of your ability to do something or go somewhere. It is easier to set goals for yourself then it is to try to live up to the expectations of others.

Resources

What do you Think about People with Disabilities: Test Yourself

How Do Disabled People Feel About Discussing Their Disabilities?

Interacting with People with Disabilities

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