One aspect of being disabled or chronically ill, that is particularly challenging – is having confidence in yourself and building up a relationship with… well, anyone really.
Many people question their self worth – trying to attain if they are ‘good’, ‘smart’ or ‘witty’ enough to be needed or wanted by others.
People that have a disability or long term health condition, can often feel alienated from social situations – in the sense of friendships and romantic relationships too.
It can be extremely daunting approaching other people to speak to them. Developing new friendships/relationships can be far too daunting for someone with chronic illness. Many individuals even suffer great anxiety at the prospect of speaking with their existing friends.
There is still a stigma in regards to people with a chronic illness or disability and living a ‘normal’ life. It is not unusual a person to be starred at, laughed at and/or commented on. People often forget their manners and treat you as if you are completely invisible.
I think it is time to try to find the courage to be who you want to be, achieve the goals you have, encourage one another, treat each other with respect and kindness. Show concern for the stranger that you wouldn’t normally approach.
We seem to be losing the ability to support others, to hold a conversation with new people or to reach out to old friends or colleagues. I think we have a lot to learn from our own kind; we need to generate opportunities to be together, to share positive experiences and make time for those in need.
Forget what you cannot do, go forth and celebrate what you can do. Don’t worry about the judgements of others; embrace who you are and grab opportunities with both hands.