Now you may or may not have seen my disability post last week all about why I am determined to go into journalism despite having a disability.
You may be wondering what can having a disability teach you? It can teach you a lot of things. For the record, in case you haven’t read this blog before, I have mental health problems.
So, what 5 things have I learnt from having a disability?
- A can-do attitude.
There’s a stigma within mental health that people with mental health problems can’t do something because they find something difficult to do. It’s wrong – we can do things but our brains are funny little things and try to tell us the opposite. We can do it and I’ve learnt a can-do attitude from being told I can’t do something. It leads into the next thing I’ve learnt.
2. An over willingness to prove things.
This is me to a tee. I like to prove I can do things. It’s in my nature and it’s to do with my upbringing. I can always go one better. But, I’m sometimes over-willing and can go beyond the call of duty. But having a disability makes you push yourself, because society has placed you in an “abnormal” box. That’s a whole other debate for another time!
3. That ignorance can work in a positive way.
This may seem strange, but let me explain. When people say – “You can’t have mental health problems, because we can’t see them.” I simply ignore their comment and educate them. I use other people’s ignorance – or to put it more positively their possible lack of understanding to my advantage and to theirs too. My ignorance to people’s negative comments can be used in a positive way to educate.
4. To address the patronisation of disability.
On the other side of the coin, you get people who pity people with mental health problems. “It must be so hard”, “are you sure you are okay?”…I could go on. My response is “I know my own mind and it isn’t hard. I’m used to it.” My mental health problems are a bad thing of course, but I dislike it when people are patronising. Just because I have mental health problems does not mean that I need to be pitied. At all.
Being a person with a disability has taught me to work hard. Work hard and I’ll be able to do all of the above. I raise awareness of mental health problems on this blog, on social media and in other areas too i.e. on the radio. Hard work pays!
What do you think? What has having a disability taught you? Let me know below in the comments or on my social media accounts.