Everyone Has a Disability
Disability- Anything that disables or puts one at a disadvantage. (Dictionary.com)
Think of the word disability.What is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the kid in the wheelchair? Maybe a handicap parking place? Most people do not think of themselves when they hear the word disability. However, the truth is, most people have a disability of some sort.
As you go about your day, try to notice the people who wear glasses. Bad vision is a disability. Examine people who are short. They are put at a disadvantage when playing basketball, so that is also considered a disability.
I ask you as you read through my perspective of my disability, not to feel sorry for me. Instead, I ask you to try to understand. I want you to understand that while a disability may seem small, it can also be quite frustrating.
Imagine what it would be like for you to be unable to button a shirt,to sign your name, or to carry a cup of coffee without spilling it. Imagine having days when it is so difficult to eat your lunch that you finally give up. Imagine that counting out change is so terrifying a task that you do not go shopping without your little sister there to count your change for you. This is what my disability causes.
I have an essential tremor. It is a neurological disorder which causes you to shake uncontrollably. It is made worse by stress, anxiety, caffeine, hunger, and many other things. It is a common disorder; an estimated 10 million Americans have it. Although it is more common in older people, children and teens are able to develop it.
This causes quite a bit of frustration in my life.
People tell me to stop shaking at times. My mom yelled at me, and she told me that I needed to stop when I spilled a cup of coffee on the floor of the church. This causes frustration because I really cannot stop, however, people seem to think I should be able to.
Today for lunch I was trying to eat crackers. Sounds simple, right? Well, not always! I would pick up the cracker and my hand would start shaking, so I would end up dropping the cracker. This would just frustrate me more. The frustration causes the tremor to get worse, which can turn into a vicious, regressive cycle.
There are times that I will be signing my name, and I stop to think for a moment. It is then that I realize that I will have this condition for the rest of my life. This is extremely frustrating. I tend to think, why me? Why now? I am not old, I thought only old people had this problem?
Well, although some people wouldn’t consider this a disability, I would argue that this is as much a disability as anything else. The definition of disability, as stated above is, “Anything that disables or puts one at a disadvantage.” I would have to say this does put me at a disadvantage to others. It makes writing difficult, especially under stress. It also prevents me from performing many simple tasks, like buttoning a shirt.
I do not want you to pity me, or to pity anyone else with a disability. Rather, I would like you to try to understand. Stand in our shoes for a day before you make fun of someone because their hands shake, or call someone who wears glasses, a four-eyed monster. Thank You.