So I have read a lot lately about people with disabilities being other people’s inspiration. However, this seems to be getting a lot of disabled peoples backs up. There are lots of comments along the lines of how degrading it is, how we are inspiring to others by just living our lives or patronizing it is to be told how “inspiring” they are.
Well for what it’s worth, here is my opinion on it.
I feel quite good about being some ones inspiration to be honest. If what I manage to do can help someone else, motivate them to achieve something or just to keep going. Then good. Am glad. Able bodied or not, I am happy if I guilt you into not complaining or getting up off your arse to do something. I feel elated and ecstatic if I can make just one person say “if she can do it then so can I “.
Disabilities come in different forms, some we are born with and some happen due to accidents and illness, but how ever or whatever has happened to us, it changes our lives in so many ways. I am not afraid to admit that even though I was born with a disability, unless it involved standing for long periods or walking a distance, I never really saw myself as disabled as it did not interfere with my day to day life (unless you count not being able to wear shoes from a shoe shop as my shoes had to be made by the hospital for me).
Since the last amputation however, I now consider myself disabled, as not only does it impact on my day to day living it has a major impact in all areas of my life and everything and anything I want to do. I do struggle to do things like walk around the house, make a cuppa tea, cook a meal, showering, stairs are a complete right off, nights out, shopping, hell getting into and around some shops and premises can be an Olympic sport in itself!
So, yes, if me managing to live my life, getting through the day and doing normal day to day things without help, if holding down a job or gaining a university degree when the odds are stacked against me, which makes things more difficult to do what other people take for granted, helps other people who are disabled to believe in themselves or someone who is not disabled feel more motivated to do something then that makes me happy.