Firstly, I want to say that I am really sorry about your accident, what you are going through and the strain that has also put on your mental health.
I personally don’t think it matters how it all came about because the pain and trauma you have felt/ will feel are your experiences.
I read your interview with OK! Magazine as many within the Disability Community were sharing it. I’ll be honest when I first read your interview I was angry because you have painted disability in a way that only supports and fuels societal beliefs of Disabled People.
However, as I processed this I remembered the pain and emotions I felt and sometimes still feel when I ‘became disabled’. Although your words have hurt many I don’t think you said anything that the majority of Disabled People haven’t felt at some point in their lives.
Your experiences are yours, your feelings are yours and your pain is valid, always.
You have chosen to share a lot of your life online through traditional media and social media. Your followers go through everything with you. I get that, I process through my Instagram and the community I found there.
I have 784 Instagram followers which is nothing compared to your 2.3 million. However, those followers mean so much to me and those 784 followers have provided me with a platform.
Although I share a large majority of my life with those 784 followers, I do also have to remain mindful of what I say or how I say it whilst remaining true to my own feelings, beliefs and morals. My platform is more specifically around Disability Awareness and therefore that’s the information I share.
The majority of my followers are also disabled and are looking for tips, solidarity and to feel less alone. Then there are my abled followers who genuinely want to learn and perhaps pass that message on.
Something I think is often forgotten when we talk so openly about our lives or have any kind of online following is that we now have a responsibility. I have a responsibility to ensure I am sharing the right message in my posts. As do you.
Millions of people follow you or your life in someway. You have so much more influence and ability to make people think than I do or than most Disability Advocates do.
So although your feelings of embarrassment and humiliation are normal to begin with they aren’t definitive. They won’t last forever and you feel these things because that’s what society has taught you. Its what society teaches billions of people.
Think of the young girl that’s recently become disabled or the guy that’s still learning to accept himself as a disabled person. Seeing a public figure or someone they admire talk about themselves in such a way could be so damaging to their mental health,
I ask whilst you process your pain and emotions privately or publically that you remember this is a natural grieving process and that you have the ability here to help raise awareness for a community who needs it. A community who will ultimately support you when you need it. So, consider supporting us. Remember and share that these are your feelings right now but being disabled isn’t the tragedy it’s often made to be.
I really do hope that your recovery goes as smoothly as possible and you are receiving all the care and support you need in all aspects of your health right now.
There is a community here that can relate to what you’re going through and they will be here when you are ready but please in the mean time support them to.
You won’t feel this way forever.
I hope you’re having as good a day as possible.