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, a handicap parking place. Most people when they hear the word disability, they do not think of themselves. When the truth is, most people have a disability of some sort.
As you go about your day, notice the people who wear glasses. Bad vision is a disability. Notice people who are short. They are put at a disadvantage when playing basketball, so that is a disability.
So I ask you as you read my perspective of my disability; not to feel sorry for me, but to try and understand. I want you to understand that while a disability may seem small, it also can be quite frustrating.
Imagine what it would be like to be unable to button a shirt, sign your name, or 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. Where counting out change is so terrifying a task that you do not go shopping without your little sister there to count your change.
What I have is 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. My mom yelled at me, she told me 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 make me frustrated. This causes the tremor to get worse, which can turn into a vicious cycle.
Sometimes I will be signing my name, and 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. As well as, keep me from doing many simple things 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.