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To the Friends Who Accept Me, Disability and All

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When you are little you make friends so simply, when you are both playing with the same favorite toy in the playground or because your parents are friends so it’s obvious their kids will be friends too, right? The second reason is how I have some of my best friends. Shoutout to my parents’ friends for having awesome children!

Friendships seem so simple and they can be, which is wonderful. However it can be difficult to make friends, especially when you have a disability physical or otherwise. Here are a few reasons why I have found it tricky:

1. Not being able to play a lot of team sports during elementary school and high school because of the physical challenges CP causes.
2. Looking and walking differently then others which can cause people to be a bit tentative.
3. Feeling self-conscious and nervous about meeting new people. Let’s be honest though, this can be an issue for everyone!

Despite all the challenges, I was able to find my “circle” thanks to family, music, volunteer opportunities and horseback riding.

“Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.”

To the friend who sees my physical disability as invisible, I appreciate you. To the friend who includes me in fun activities and is willing to make them possible for a girl with CP to do, thank you. To the friend who helps me get up and clean up after one of my “random gravity checks,” asks if I am OK and will giggle with me because sometimes falling on your butt can be funny, you are so appreciated! To the friend who picks up the phone and lets me rant when I have a bad day and my body has been a pain (literally) and makes me feel better and stronger, you’re awesome. To the friends who stuck with me through the tough journey of being made fun of and the general changes of school, thank you.

Lastly, thank you to the strangers who say hi to me and other people who look different then others, walk differently, act differently or speak differently. You just made someone’s day and maybe just started a friendship you will grow to appreciate and treasure.

This article is for all my “stars.” Remember to say thanks to your friends and let them know they are valued.

Getty image by Pixel Particle.

Originally published: August 5, 2018
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