Is it CP or is it me.
In the throes of unhappiness and pondering the lot I have been given, in my youth and for a long time after, I made the classic, youngster error of assuming that all my problems were the result of being disabled. Not so very disabled, I asserted with a prickly self-righteousness, as to be unable to do the things they do, but enough for it to be a total, permanent pain in the ass. That was my reasoning, and because I was such a prickly pain, no-one felt like challenging me on it. Which gave me a perfect, permanent reason to be a bit of a grumpy-mouthed twit.
But then, challenging all my assumptions, I have met and continue to meet people who are disabled, yes, and who manage – gasp! – to be pleasant, funny, helpful, amusing and stoic. So, I reasoned, being remarkably slow to connect the dots, it can’t be disability that’s entirely the problem, here.
So is it just me?
(Please don’t all rush as one to say, ‘It’s you, it’s you, it’s all you.”)
I face the dreadful realisation, about twenty years too late (twenty? Try forty!) that if I had been a kinder and more confident individual, my life might have been a lot easier. Of course.
This year has thrown challenges in my path, literally chucking them down. But hey, we all have challenges to face, we all have times when we wish it would all just go away and we could float away on a peaceful boat to a sunny, warm, peaceful place and rest for a while.
Everyone faces challenges, hardship, sorrow and pain, and none of these circumstances needs to equate with suffering. We can simply observe, allow, and accept. When circumstances hurt, or life feels heavy, we really don’t have to become hurtful or heavy ourselves.
Equally, all of us at some time encounter prejudice, unkindness, lack of comprehension, which may well arise because of an impairment: a choice selection of insults around impairment that featured a lot in my youth, spring to mind. But equally we can be discriminated against or bullied because we are guileless, don’t know how to play the game, because we wear the wrong brand shoes or read obscure literature …. None of these forms of discrimination is actionable, or easy to prove.
So, it must have been me, then. If so, – and I suspect the jury will be out on this for a while yet – I hope henceforward to be resolutely cheerful.