There are two types of disabled people.
1. The disabled person who doesn’t act like they have a disability.
2. The disabled person who can’t wait to list all their disabilities to you.
The first type of disabled person will go into a meeting or a party and never even mention their disability. They interact with people and have an expectation that people won’t treat them any differently. They feel no need for special treatment. The only time their disability comes up is when someone else asks them about it. Even then, it’s spoken about in a matter-of-fact way, sort of like someone might describe their car. Their disability just “is.”
The second type of disabled person will start describing what’s wrong with them from the first second they get into the room. “I’ve got to sit in the shade because sunlight gives me the worst hives! And then there’s my high blood pressure. Do you have any Splenda, I have diabetes. I could totally tell it was going to rain today because my sciatica kept me up all night and I felt it in my bones.” You get the picture. It’s all about their disability(ies).
The first type of disabled person brings energy to the room. The second sucks all the energy out. The first type leaves others hopeful that should they ever end up in a debilitating situation, they’ll be just fine. The second type makes you afraid to get out of bed in the morning.
I am very thankful I consider myself to be the first type of disabled person. I find it incredibly easy not to make my disability an issue unless absolutely necessary. It not only keeps others positive, it keeps me positive. I really don’t like it when other disabled people (of type two) come up to me and feel like I’m the same as them. I don’t want to sit and list all my problems. I would rather talk about sports.
What kind of disabled person are you?