As an individual with a chronic illness or disability, it is imperative that you know your worth and know that you bring something unique to this world, and to the lives of others.
I have honestly lost track of the number of times I have been told that I am “so lucky that my husband married me” or that “he must be a saint for sticking by me, considering my health issues.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, my husband is an incredible man, but not because he married me. My husband is amazing because of what he has to offer the world and who he is as a person. As am I and as are you.
I’m writing this, having returned from yet another specialist appointment. It’s not uncommon for me to leave and get in my car on the verge of tears, but today, I was furious. Not because I had to pay a large sum of money for a short appointment where I received no new information, and not because the specialist was condescending. It was because of this conversation:
Specialist: “Do you have a partner?”
Me: “Yes, I have a husband.”
Specialist: “Oh, really?” [Look of absolute shock as they looked me up and down] “Oh, your poor husband must think he’s married an old woman.”
Me: “My husband is amazing, and I’m lucky to have him. However, I also have a lot to offer, so he is lucky to have me as well.”
I am quick with this response now. Not because I am defensive, but because I know my worth.
I know I have something to offer my husband, my family, my friends, my students and my community.
I have talents, skills and a whole lot of love to give.
So do all of you.
If you know you’re guilty of doing this, please don’t tell someone they’re lucky they have a partner despite their health, because everyone deserves to be loved for who they are.
To those people, who like me, have lost track of the number of times you’ve received these comments, know your worth and remember that what you have to offer is also amazing.
We are loved because of who we are, not despite it.