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The Importance of Independence in My Life With a Disability

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It’s tough having to “prove” you can do things on your own. Whether it’s cooking, a trip to the store, or trying to get out on your own, independence is one of the most important things for someone with a disability. People often forget how much it matters. One of the worst things I’ve heard is often that four letter word: help. Yes, it’s nice having a circle or family members who are willing to help you when you need it or are clearly struggling. But if it’s something within your own capabilities that you are being told not to do so someone else can help, it’s defeating.

There have been been so many changes in my life now that I’ve had multiple sclerosis for 10 years. As tough as it can be, I still enjoy the moments when I can do things on my own. As silly as it may sound, being able to cook my own breakfast (not a bowl of cereal) is actually rewarding. Although there are times when I have to ask for help with more difficult tasks, being able to have independence is great. I’ve learned you don’t prove your own independence, you demand it.

Making those who acknowledge your disability understand and accept that there’s a lot you can still do on your own can be hard. You may get in a few arguments, but it’s your life, and your freedom.

Getty image by Kieferpix.

Originally published: September 24, 2018
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