Life can have a very funny way of teaching and improving people, more specifically those with disabilities.
I remember going to a high school dance, by myself. Going alone was scary, and it didn’t get easier once I was there. The loud music, combined with my shyness and speech impairment, made it impossible to talk to anyone. People found it hard to understand me, and so simply avoided me.
Whenever I saw a pretty girl, this experience would always be at the forefront of my mind. I didn’t have the confidence to showcase who I really was, or even to let anyone get to know me. If, by some chance, I did pluck up the courage to talk to a girl, my ‘zombie’ sounding voice would quickly end any further conversation. Surely girls would only ever be able to see my disability?
But I don’t know whether I really knew myself back then either. My Cerebral Palsy had taken over and filled my head with so many negative thoughts.
As I grew, the feeling of being alone surround me more as my friends paired off into couples. For a period of time, life had gone dark. I allowed my disability to steer me into the abyss. The only relationships I had with girls were in my dreams. Never did I think somebody would want to love me and my disability. What the heck is there to love? I was a guy who talked funny, drooled and had a lot of baggage.
That was until I truly discovered who I was, how strong I was and how much I had to offer. Once I realised that, my life was changed forever.
It took years, but the hardships and depression that were being caused by my disability, were actually helping me to understand my greatest love of all – myself.
It’s a cliche, but before you find someone to love, you need to know your own soul. The soul will never let you down and will always be with you. Take the time to let it guide you and show you what life has to offer. Intimacy can be a hard to achieve when you’re disabled. Get close with yourself and find out who you really are first. Once you know how great you are, they will too.
Can you name three things that you love most in life? They might go in this order. 1. Your favorite sports team. 2. Your job. 3. Your pet. This is a problem. If you want to experience everything life has to offer, YOU should be at the top of the list.
All the crap that we as disabled people have to deal with on a daily basis makes us who we are. And when we discover a relationship, it’s well worth the wait. You’ll have found that person who truly takes the time to see you and to see what your disability puts you through.
This Valentine’s Day look in the mirror and wish the person looking back a Happy Valentine’s Day, because they’re truly someone special!
By Alex Lytwyn
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