Walking that Sunday afternoon clutching the arm of a friend as my legs felt especially wobbly and the brain fog was in full force we were approached by an elderly woman. She asked me how I got injured and as we answered in unison “no its permanent” she responded with a sorrowful realisation. As we parted with the woman my friend mentioned how she can see why that would be frustrating.
That was the third time I was approached that day.
A few days prior I was at a shoe store picking out a new pair of converse. I had just picked up my new hinged AFO which meant new shoes and I was excited. As I was trying on my shoes an employee asked what happened. As I explained that I have a drop foot I was bombarded with a thousand questions and “I’m so sorry, sweetie.”
I just wanted a size 6.
Before I became disabled I didn’t see that being disabled or sick is not the worst thing that can happen to a person, especially a young and vibrant teenager.
As a society, we put a lot of our worth into our bodies, whether that is trying the latest diet or makeup trend or as deeply engrained as how our legs function. While I fully see that I am not any less of a person because of my long list of diagnosis’ that does not mean that others do too.
What I think is often missed is that my inability to run or jump in no way means that my life is lacking. It doesn’t rob my joy because my joy does not come from my physical being. I am filled with the joy of The Lord and that is sufficient for me.
I am an athlete, a sister, a friend, and those should mean so much more then the limitations on my body.
But to most they don’t.
I don’t blame you for thinking this way. Most of us never get the chance to see the world through a new light.
Please don’t interrupt my day to stare or express your Pity.
I challenge you to change the way you view differences. As simply that, something unlike you but not tragic or heartbreaking. I am not a tragedy and you shouldn’t feel sorry for me; I certainly don’t.
My life is far more beautiful then I could have ever imagined.