As a child, I wasn’t aware of what my physical, mental or emotional difficulties meant, so I never understood why those difficulties made me different. I was only aware there was a difference in my leg mass and foot.
As children, we normally attune ourselves 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 really sure what my peers saw or thought about me, but however they saw me, I somehow adjusted.
My suggestions below should help us adjust to being different:
- 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 work through and overcome your difficulties will not only inspire you, but will also inspire others, seeing the difference in you;
- Stay positive, you are okay as you are;
- Spend time thinking about and working through your challenges without homing in on other people’s opinions of you. Certain challenges can always be overcome, it’s the attitude that matters;
- Choose to have people around you who support you unconditionally.
As individuals we are all unique, but those who have a disability and are different, are even more unique and that in my book is 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 also taught me about tolerance, patience, empathy and compassion. It has taught me how to be a better person. It has taught me about the importance of being kind.