As a child, I wasn’t aware of my physical or emotional difficulties, so never attuned myself to them. I never homed in on the fact that those difficulties made me different. I was aware that there was a difference in my leg mass and foot, but never understood what it all meant.
But as children, we’re normally attuned to people’s appearances more than adults. For example, if a child sees another child who is overweight that child will say something like “Look, Mum, that girl’s fat.” I’m not sure what my peers saw or thought, but however they saw me, I somehow adjusted.
My suggestions below should help us adjust:
- Believe in yourself. Use your uniqueness to move around your life. Don’t let the fact that you are different hold you back. Being able to overcome adversity will not only inspire you, but will also inspire others seeing the difference in you;
- Stay positive, you’re okay as you;
- Spend time thinking about and working through your challenges without homing in on other people’s opinions of you. Challenges can always be overcome, it’s the attitude that matters;
- Choose to have people around you who will support you unconditionally.
Of course, as individuals we are all unique, but those who have a disability and are different, are even more unique and that’s okay. Society needs to embrace and celebrate people who are ‘different.’
My disability and being different has taught me about humility, it has taught me about expression, it has taught me about resilience, and to recognise other people’s struggles. It has taught me how to be a better, more compassionate person.
It has also taught me about empathy, tolerance and being kind.