As promised, Feeling Handy’s first instalment, about feeling comfortable in your disability and how I ‘cope’ with it.
Starting with feeling comfortable in yourself, it is something that everyone struggles with from time to time. Whether it be because of physical attributes such as their weight, height, race, hair colour… the majority of people in the world have had to either come to terms with who they are, or find a way to change it. The difference in experiencing this because of a physical disability is that we are extremely limited in what we can do to change it, prosthetics can provide some amount of relief from the anxieties of standing out, but they’re not always practical. For me, someone who does not wish to wear a prosthetic, that meant having to learn to accept my hand as part of who I am – it’s a long process that may never have an end, but I find humour to really relax me around others. Joking about my disability with my friends and family joining in gives me a sense of comfort and acceptance, because the corner stone to any good relationships is humour, and I don’t want to be excluded from that just because of being a little different.
I can’t speak for everyone with a disability, but I know that for many of us how comfortable we feel about ourselves and our disabilities (and as a result how we act around you) is really impacted on by how the people we’re around react to it; that’s why I find humour to be such a great way of relaxing. That, and my outlook is that it’s always better to laugh than to cry, especially with something so permanent; oh and seeing the faces of people who hear you making what they expect to be offensive jokes is all part of the fun!
If you’re wanting more, Lizzie Velasquez speaks in depth on comfort in disability – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzPbY9ufnQY
Until next time,