When you see a disabled person, do you think about the person beyond the disability? Do you make an effort know the person behind the face you see?
Same goes for if you see someone who looks “normal“, do you ever think their disability is an act for attention or an excuse to get out of responsibilities ?
The bottom line is a person with a disability is a person first, and their disability only make a small part of who they are.
No one wants to be treated different, feel left out or alone. Many over come their disabilities or find ways to cope but when they then speak out about them there is a lot of judgement where there should be understanding. This needs to change. There are so many people who keep their mental disabilities / struggles to themselves (myself one of them) in fear of being treated different, shown pity or judged. When I finally open up to people about my anxiety, insomnia and newly diagnosed PTSD (Ok, not so new I was diagnosed in 2013) people seem to be taken back and don’t know how to react. Which is fine at first, because all they have got to know/see is someone who is compassionate, strong willed, understanding, appears to have her shit together…etc. My son gets the same reaction which I’m sure he’ll learn to smirk at or shrug off because he is so much more than his autism. We all have our struggles no matter if they’re physical, mental or us just trying to deal with what life has thrown our way. In the end people need to show more compassion/understanding, not just show pity but try to actually see a persons worth and ability through their disability.
Yes I have my mental disabilities but I am so much more. I am a single mom to a wonderful little boy. I’m a person who rather spend time in the company of animals then with people. I’m someone who is compassionate, very empathetic, yet is quick witted and very clever. I am a certified trained chef, music junkie (My playlist has everything from classical to dub-step, metal to R&B..etc), lover of the arts and outdoors. My Anxiety, Insomnia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are all just a small part of me and the positive traits that make me who I am are so much better than the mental disability labels that people like to put on me.
Compassion is something that seems to be fading away in today’s world and I’m writing this in hopes that it helps people remember that a little understanding goes a lone way. Show it not only towards those with disabilities but to everyone. You never know what someone is going through and sometimes offering to listen judgement free helps more than anyone would ever think. So please remember to be kind, show compassion and just learn to love people for who they are and not just the labels that society may put on them.