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When I Was Asked If Cerebral Palsy Has Negatively Affected My Life

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A few months ago I was being interviewed by a friend who’s a student at a local high school for a school project. Having a physical disability, I do a lot of interviews and it was just like every other one I’ve done. That is until she asked, “Would you say your life has been negatively impacted by cerebral palsy?” followed by the question “Are there ever times when you wish it wasn’t a part of your life?”

If I’m honest, she kind of caught me off guard because no one had ever asked me such in-depth and personal questions before. I realized that most people probably assume if you have a disability, it’s a negative thing in your life and you wish it’d go away. I also realized it’s not super often that people think having a disability is a positive thing either.

While I know some people do look at their disability as a negative thing, I don’t. Sure, I have days where I hate it and want to be what we call an able-bodied person. I’m one of those people who get annoyed when people are like, “you know while we’re sitting here complaining about how slow our WiFi is, there are people in other countries who have to walk a couple miles to get water.” Don’t get me wrong, I do care about people in need. I just get annoyed when it’s being put in a comparison way. I sometimes do the same thing to myself when I’m complaining about my abilities. I remind myself about how lucky I am to have the ability to walk and talk when I’m not happy with my abilities. It’s funny how that works, huh?

When I answered the questions, I told my friend I had done many interviews before and had never been asked such questions. Then I said, “Yes and no. I believe God made me with CP for a reason, and I believe it’s a tool to reach the lost. It does definitely have a negative side of it, like people making assumptions that aren’t true. But if I could get rid of it, I’m not sure I would.”

You may not believe what I do, and/or you may think of your disability as a negative thing. Either way, I’m pretty sure you will agree with me on two things. One, people need to stop making inaccurate assumptions about disabilities. Two, people who don’t know us very well need to stop telling us how inspiring we are, when they literally have no idea what we’ve been through. That is inspiration porn. We’re literally just doing whatever we have to do to live life.

Getty image by Grandfailure.

Originally published: May 7, 2018
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