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The Key to Friendship When You Have a Disability

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Lucius Annaeus Seneca once said, “One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” As a teenage girl with a physical disability and an extreme theatre nerd, I know from personal experience that not everyone you meet will truly understand you or the challenges you face in your day to day life. That is OK! As you navigate friendships, remember not everyone is meant to be your friend. There are people in this world who look at you with eyes of pity. There are also people in this world who see you as an amazing and unique person. Become friends with them!

Find friends who forget about your limitations. Find friends who make you laugh so hard you fall off the couch, and then will help you back up (after laughing with you of course!) Find friends who have your chair out before you even open the car door and who help you not fall on your butt as you transfer. Become part of a group that gives you the nickname “Hot Wheels” as the result of a 3 a.m. joke and will sing Broadway tunes at the top of their lungs with you. Find friends who truly want to know more about you!

Sadly, fake people and goody-two shoes exist in this world, but those who are truly meant to be your friend will love you, limitations and all. The bottom line: find friends who like you because you are you, and nothing else.

To the very special people in my life: thank you. Your friendship means more to me than you could ever imagine. I love you, weirdos.

Photo provided by contributor.

Originally published: March 11, 2018
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