Dear fellow disabled patrons,
I am writing this open letter to let you know that we are never alone in life, despite how lonely our lives may get from time to time. I am not going to be naïve. I know how hard it was growing up feeling singled out just because we couldn’t walk or needed assistance with normal daily activities. I know that growing up differently and being treated foolishly as a result leaves a scar on the heart. It is something we will never forget. Unfortunately, humiliation is an emotion that never disappears, no matter how hard we may try to turn a blind eye to it.
It is like the devil on our shoulder always wants us to remember the emotions and people that hurt us. If you’re homebound because everyone else in your family works, trust me, I understand. I understand that your home then becomes your safe haven, but I also understand the importance of communication. Talking to other people is important because it maintains that connection. I personally use social media as my social lifeline. I know it can be stressful from time to time, but it certainly has come in handy for me as a tool for communicating with the outside world.
Sometimes our chronic pain and disabilities can leave us feeling isolated, too, but it certainly is not our fault. We have to do our best with what we have been handed. Despite all of the hard times, I am here to remind you that we can still live an enriching life. Our attitude plays a big role. I will be the first to admit that I didn’t always have a healthy relationship with my disability. It took me about 18 years to foster the relationship, but now that I have established it, I will never look back!
Confidence is key. I am sure you have heard that phrase before, but it is true. Once you accept yourself, disability and all, you open up the door for opportunity. Once people take notice of that, the positivity then flocks back to you.
Patience is also paramount. I know firsthand how stressful the impairments that come along with a disability can be. You just have to remember to coast through the day and put your worries on the backburner. Yes, it is much easier to say than to actually do. However, once you capture the ability to take life as it comes, you’ll never want to look back.
Find what fuels your purpose. I firmly believe God has a plan for us all. You may have to do some soul searching to find it, but once you do, you’ll find that you’re happier than you have ever been because you’re chasing your dreams and refusing to cower down to fear or the people who told you you’d never amount to anything.
Above all, rise proudly and be proud of who you are and what you stand for. We are all unique and one-of-a-kind for a reason. Remember to pursue your hopes and dreams with fire in your eyes, and never look back until this is accomplished!