What really counts as a disability?
According to Equality Act 2010, you have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial & long-term negative effect on your ability to do daily activities.
I’ve lived up to that definition since I was 15 but it’s only within the last year that I’ve embraced it. I ran away from it all the way through education and even after finishing uni, I kept rejecting the word.
My understanding of disability at that age was, to put it simply, ugly and wrong. I thought being disabled was something to pity, to desperately avoid. The only disabilities I had seen in real-life, or on TV, were paralysed people, or those with amputated limbs, or the deaf children my mother taught.
My limited scope of disability convinced me that I was unworthy of the word. How could I fit into that category? I believed that I had to be visibly disabled in order to qualify.
Now I’m taking the word as my own. From the outside, I look like an able-bodied person but on the inside my body is falling apart. Through my own experience, I’ve finally learned that disabilities do not have a uniform appearance. We come in countless beautiful shapes and sizes, some immediately obvious and others completely invisible. I just wish I hadn’t taken so long to come to that startlingly obvious conclusion!
The word disability isn’t weak, scary or something to be pitied, it takes immense patience and power to endure and disabled people are nothing but fucking fierce. Being disabled will never define me but from now on I will wear the word as a mark of pride.
Link in bio for a new blog post!
Kinda want this as a tattoo, thoughts?
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