Do You Have a Disability?
Are You Disabled?
Have you ever stopped and thought about the difference between the two words — disability and disabled? I have been thinking about those words for a while now and decided I needed to offer my opinion on the difference in the words. A disability is something physical, or mental, that causes some part of your body or mind to not be “normal” or to not function totally “normally.” Maybe it is something with which you were born. Maybe something happened to you in an accident. Maybe something happened because you chose to defend our country. Maybe it is something that just happened to you — period!
I have known several people who had mental disabilities. Those can be any one (or more than one) of several things, and can have either a major or minor effect on people’s lives. Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, bipolar disease, and many other mental disorders, both minor and major, that cause a person’s life to be different from the norm. For some people, their problems can be treated successfully with medications, however, for some people, the treatments seem not to be well tolerated. Sometime back I became friends with a retired nurse, an RN, who had worked in a mental health facility. She felt very strongly that many of the people who end up in prison have mental health disorders that were either never diagnosed, or they were diagnosed but they couldn’t tolerate the available medications.
I have also known several people who had physical disabilities; some had minor disabilities, and others had major ones. What is so interesting to me, and maybe to you also, is how different people’s lives are affected. One person I know has had several strokes, with the last one putting him into a wheelchair with one side of his body not working. He is an upbeat, positive person, who is not letting his disability DISABLE him! He was right handed, and that is the side of his body that doesn’t work, so somehow he has learned to use his computer very well with just the use of his left hand. He is very skilled at that too, and can type one-handed faster than many of us can with two hands! My own sister had osteoporosis (before there was even a name for it) from the time she was in her 20’s until her death at age 75. Her poor little body was literally bent in half for most of those years, but I don’t ever remember hearing her complain! She worked for many of those years and raised four children on her own. She also had a very positive attitude in life! I don’t think anyone ever thought of her as DISABLED.
We Don’t Have to Be Disabled by a Disability!
On the other hand, I have known people who had physical problems that were not nearly as difficult as the ones I mentioned, who moaned and groaned their way through life. They always seemed to feel that their life was the worst possible and couldn’t seem to ever see that there were others who had much more severe problems and disabilities in their lives, but were leading happy, productive lives. I heard the expression early in life about “pulling yourself up by the bootstraps” and always felt that was a good way to live life. Sure, many of us have something that falls under the title of being a disability, but we don’t have to let it DISABLE us! We can always look around and see many who have a much more major disability than we do. Especially now, with returning service people who have suffered some of the most devastating injuries possible, and then, with help, they pull their lives back together and continue LIVING, not being DISABLED!
Let’s All Encourage Each Other!
All of the people who have overcome disabilities and continued on with living life to the utmost of their ability, are my heroes! I feel honored to know people like that. They are the ones who give all of us the courage to move forward with our lives and live up to our abilities too! Let’s all encourage each other to move beyond disabilities and LIVE happy, contented lives! We all may have a “down day,” but if we are all encouraging each other, that will bring everyone back up to having a good, or even great, day!
Take care, and live happy and healthy lives.
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