It's been nearly a year since I started using my cane regularly at school. Although I'm now able to use it with out feeling too anxious, that wasn't always the case. I remember when I first got it, it was in the middle of 10th grade. I had finally worked up the courage to take it to school....and I left it in my bag. I didn't even take it out, I was so terrified of someone seeing it.
The summer break before my Junior year, I had MULTIPLE panic attacks just thinking about using it. It was the fact that people would notice me, and would be looking at me. That terrified me, I couldn't handle the thought of being noticed by others, even if for just a second. I already dealt with people looking at me due to my tics, I didn't think I could handle being looked at for another reason on top of that. Nethertheless, I knew I needed to bring it to school, I knew I that the benefits would GREATLY out way the anxieties I had. And so I did, I brought it.
I was so nervous the whole week before school, infact I had a pretty huge breakdown caused by my stress and anxiety. Still, the first day of Junior year I brought my cane. And.....it went suprisingly well. There were a few stares, but they weren't as common as I thought. The few questions I got, were all asked by my teachers. No one was rude, or made me feel embarrassed to use one. By the end of the day, I had realized I had nothing to worry about.
I go to a decent sized school. And there's a handful of students who also use mobility aids. I think that knowing that helped me a bit with my anxiety, and the feeling of feeling alone. Infact, towards the end of my first semester of Junior year, a student who also uses a cane transfered to my school. It turned out that they were my friend from middle school, who ended up moving. We became really good friends, even closer than we would be if we didn't both bond over using mobility aids.
I'm really glad I didn't give into my anxiety, and that I still brought it despite the intense panic I originally felt. It has helped me immensely with dealing with the symptoms I deal with from my FND. Though I still sometimes feel anxious using it, it's nowhere near as bad or constant as it was in the beginning.
I'm writing this to not only share my experience, but to hopefully help someone who wants, or needs to use their mobility aid in a more public setting for the first time, but is scared, to realize that although it can be scary at first. It will be ok. Even if people stare, and make rude comments it will be ok. Your saftey is hundreds of times more important than what others might think of you
#FND #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #FND #Disabled #Mobilityaid #BabeWithAMobilityAid #Confidence #Disabledandproud