One thing which is often not spoken about very often in general is disabilities. Mostly I think this is because there is a minority who have to cope with them compared to the majority. More than that though, each disability is different from the other, with some noticeable and some not. But each just as significant and affecting.
Personally I am partially deaf. I only have about 40% hearing in one ear. This means a lot of conversations are muffled and words often blur together. So I am classed as disabled. But instead of hiding it away, denying it’s an issue I am proud of it. For a few people though, I know it’s difficult to be so. I know it’s not something celebrated by others and confronted enough. These are general tips on coping, because each case is different so some of these might not help you.
Firstly I know that disabilities are labelled as limiting factors, but that really isn’t the whole story. Don’t be afraid and put off activities and experiences because of your disability. Never be afraid to try something just because someone else doubts you. You are the only person who can limit yourself, decide what you are capable and not capable of, because at the end of the day no one knows how far you can go except you.
One thing which can be difficult to telling others about your disability. I was born with mine so have never known any different. When first meeting me you might not even notice that there is something wrong with my hearing so that leaves it up to me to inform them. Now obviously some disabilities are noticeable so don’t need explaining but for those of you who like me need to tell someone here’s how I find is the best way to tell someone.
Understand is that this isn’t something that’s going to reflect badly on you and your friendship. Good friends should be fine and understanding. If you’d feel better stood somewhere else, or maybe sat down, or even just stood somewhere else in proportion to them ask. Then just be honest, don’t try to pretend everything is okay if it’s not. This is so crucial, don’t make compromises where you lose out in conversation or are uncomfortable for the sake of others.
Occasionally I know that disabilities feels like a punishment, but they’re really not. Coming to terms with it can be so difficult and tiring but please, don’t give up and think it’s a sign or karma or anything like that. It really is just a part of who you are. Your own quirk which really separates you from the crowd in the best way possible.
Don’t blame yourself or others if you’re struggling because it’s never anyone’s fault.
Just try to take it in your stride, acknowledge that it is maybe an issue, but that it’s still something you can cope with.
You are a good person who an unfortunate thing has happened to but it is never anyone’s fault, just another pothole in the road of life.
Disabilities are hard to cope with, I know. They suck and seemingly appear to be targeted on you. But never let this stop you from being the best person you can be. You are a wonderful person, no matter what. Don’t hide away who you are, don’t pretend to be someone stronger than you are. Okay so we’re disabled. But disabled and proud.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.