My Disability is not yours.
Do not tell me how it should make me feel,
Do not make me your puppet and put words in my mouth because it’s easier that way,
Easier not to hear that-
Yes, I do struggle,
Yes, I do look for my phone for 15 minutes only to find it had been in front of me the whole time,
I do spill things and knock things over and believe me, no-one is more angry about that than me.
Every object a potential weapon against me,
Every glass door,
Every metal pole,
Every road I cross alone brings panic bubbling to my chest.
No, I did not see you there,
No, it’s not something that can be fixed with surgery,
No, I do not “look disabled.”
What should I look like to you?
What would make it easier for you to understand?
A cane? A guide dog? A tattoo across my forehead?
Do you doubt me because I do not fit your box?
Do I not act as a disabled person should act?
Do you confuse my confidence for coping?
I envy you.
How things come so easily to you.
Not to have to plan a day based on when the light will fade…
To walk into a new place without worrying about the obstacles around you…
To drive anywhere that you want at any time you please…
What do you fear?
I’m scared to confess the things that frighten me in case you laugh at me,
I fear the things that you take for granted.
I fear going to supermarkets because every aisle looks the same and every person looks like you,
I fear letting go of your hand in a club in case I cannot find you again,
I fear the day I have a child, I will not be able to see its face looking back at me…
I fear that if I do lose my vision, I’ll forget what those I love look like,
I fear the sand timer above my head, I feel the sand trickle through my fingers, too fine to grasp.
I fear so much that I have no choice but to turn that fear into another kind of energy so the fear does not consume me.
I will not lie down whilst my disability tries to strip away the colour,
I will paint my own picture and it will be brighter than it ever was before,
If I cannot climb the mountain, I will forge my own path around it,
I will embrace the fear and dive head first into everything life has to offer.
So, bring it on.