It’s been some time since I’ve written anything here, but a few days ago was the 12th anniversary of becoming physically disabled and I felt compelled to write a few comments here.
When your body starts to break down, but your brain keeps working as usual, you really spend a lot of time “stewing” about things. A lot of what I’m going to say here are naturally just generalizations, but I feel most are accurate and apply to people that are in constant pain with any disability.
Most people that can’t work want nothing more than to do so because that is what normal people do. Being a man and not being able to work is so depressing that you begin to feel useless and unnecessary. For 12 years, I’ve had people make jokes about me not having to work and basically being lazy. I’ve even had someone I care about very much, refer to me as “a friend without benefits”. I spend every day of my life trying to do what needs to be done, regardless of any pain I might be in. Not because I owe anyone, but because it makes me feel useful.
People with disabilities don’t want your sympathy or charity, they want your understanding. Don’t assume we don’t want to work because we generally work hard just to function normally and not to appear “disabled”. I play 5 different sports regularly, not because I feel wonderful, but by pushing my body as far as I can it makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something that most people do without thinking about. It makes me feel normal.
I have lived on pain meds every day for the past 12 years but the one thing that makes it acceptable for me is that no matter how bad it gets, there are thousands of people that have it much worse and that I should be thankful.
It wasn’t that many years ago that I couldn’t walk across a room without a cane, but because of hard work I can now function as close to normal that I can ever expect to be. But what causes more pain than I could ever experience in my body are the opinions and views of some close minded people. If you hate your job, do something about it…don’t take it out on someone that would do almost anything to be in your position.
I’m pretty sure if you suffered with pain every day, as well as depression and frustration, your 9-5 job would seem much easier to cope with.
Forgive me if this sounds like a rant, but I think it’s important. The way you treat anyone with a disability goes a long way to making their lives more bearable. Happy heads and hearts and finding a reason to smile will go a long way to making pain disappear. I feel you would have a hard time finding a person with a disability that wants special treatment in any way…but treating them as an equal and another human being can go so far in making them feel like they really DO have a purpose on this magnificent earth and that life really IS worth living…
That’s all for now…