I think in life we all have that one thing that we wish was different about our physical appearance. That one thing that’s the Achilles Heel to, our self-esteem. I think many of us have more than one in fact, especially women because we’re put under such an intense microscope.
Imagine there’s a line of baskets sitting in front of you and as the saying goes, there are eggs in each of these baskets. For me, the one at the front in the middle is marked “my disability”. The others would be things like my stomach, my skin, etc. There would be some eggs in each of the other baskets, but you’ll find most of the eggs sitting in the disability basket. How I feel about myself at any given time is almost exclusively tied to how I’m feeling about my disability. If I haven’t thought about my limp for a while and no one has managed to point it out to me or ask me about it. If I haven’t fallen for a reasonable amount of time. All of these things affect how confident I feel about myself.
Sometimes I’ll get some new clothes and feel like a badass. Sometimes I’ll have a good hair day or my skin will look great. All of those can contribute to my leaving the house with some swagger. But when I fall or someone points out my limp, that all crumbles. The few eggs that may be in the other baskets don’t matter anymore. No amount of cute clothes or good hair or skin will erase the shame and humiliation I feel when I’m reminded about my disability. I know how horrible that sounds and I’m sure there’s many people who will be angry at me for sounding like having a disability should equal shame or humiliation. I absolutely do not think it does in my heart of hearts and I would tell any other person with a disability never to be ashamed of who they are. This is just where I’m at with my progress and my own personal feelings. I’m still working on it.
Even if you’re born looking like a super model, your confidence can’t come from your looks. Looks are fleeting. The same applies I know for me. I can’t base how I feel about myself totally on this one thing that wasn’t my fault to begin with; something that’s never going to change no matter how I dress or how great of a hair day I’m having. My disability is a part of me as much as I think of it as a separate thing sometimes. I have to learn how to walk with confidence with my pimp limp, not in spite of it and not because I actually forgot I had it for a day. My confidence has to come from a deeper place. It has to come from who I feel I am a person. It has to come from what I feel like I can offer the world. Falling and being asked about my disability can’t cause me to crumble so strongly because there’s so much more to me than that one thing, and having MD doesn’t affect any of that.
It’s time to add a new basket called the “being me” basket and time to put a whole lot of eggs in it.