I'm Proud to Be a Person With a Disability

Essence Cheatom
·2 mins read
Essence, a Black woman resting in a hospital bed with monitoring leads on her chest.
Essence, a Black woman resting in a hospital bed with monitoring leads on her chest.

I am embarrassed to say that until this year I didn’t know there was a dedicated month for disability pride. But I do now and I will forever celebrate it. If you don’t know, Disability Pride Month was first observed in 1990 and has recently become celebrated with parades and festivals around the country. The purpose of Disability Pride Month is to honor everyone’s differences and uniqueness by raising awareness and breaking stigmas, and make people with disabilities visible in all communities. Needless to say, this is something we need as a community.

I just wanted to show my disability pride by saying my disability is one of the best things that has happened to me. I know that may seem weird to say, but it’s true. No matter what other path my life went on, I wouldn’t have the self-understanding or love I have now if it wasn’t for pseudotumor cerebri. I wouldn’t have been able to explore all the things I love — writing, public service, tea, my business. Without my disability, I wouldn’t know exactly who I can trust and depend on. I wouldn’t know how strong I am. If I wasn’t disabled I wouldn’t have the house I live in or enjoy the things I do such as gardening, meditation, fishing. I wouldn’t understand how important the little things in life are. I wouldn’t be me without my disability.

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My disability isn’t just a part of me, it’s who I am and no matter the amount of pain it causes, the hassles I go through every day, the blood, sweat and tears it drains, it’s me and I am proud of that and proud of how it’s shaped me. Proud that I understand that like my illnesses, all things work out for my good and even bad things can be blessings.

This month, thank yourself for enduring and thank your disability for the positive things it has brought you, no matter how small. This month, share your story and show people why we should be included, why we should fight to end ableism and fight to shatter the stigmas. We are disabled but we are here, we are able, we are deserving and we are proud! Keep enduring, warriors.

Read more stories like this on The Mighty:

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