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Throughout life, you will face all kinds of new experiences and challenges which is what makes the mystery of life even more exciting. Every new experience teaches us something new and although some lessons are learned because of a mistake that we have made some are out of pure joy and you are glad that it happened. In a previous post I started writing thirty lessons you should learn before thirty because I know people will wonder what lessons I have learned but if you ask me in person what lessons I learned I will probably say something dumb or pull something from this blog post. I originally planned to write all thirty in one blog post but realized it would have been way too long and I didn’t want to do that to myself so I decided to split it up into two posts. Here are the rest of my life lessons that I have learned in my thirty years of life.
All medical doctors save lives but not all doctors are created equal- When you are disabled often you go to more doctors than abled people and some people are truly fantastic physicians and you can see why they went into medicine but others are not and you honestly think that the only reason they went into that field is because it pays well. I have gone to many doctors that listen to their patients and I can tell that you went into medicine because you truly wanted to make a difference but I have also gone to plenty of doctors who don’t have the best bedside manner and I was like “eh they do the job” but I wouldn’t give them a ten-star review. Some doctors put everything into good patient care but even though it technically is true that all medical doctors save lives not all of them are created equal and will have the same positive impact on their patients. Some patients are frustrated with their doctors because they dismiss pain and their doctors act like they are the smartest one in the room and know everything there is to know about our disabilities. If a patient has to go home and tweet about how horrible their hospital experience was you are not a good doctor and should be ashamed of yourself for giving someone such horrible care. A medical doctor may save your life but not all doctors have the same impact because people that listen and try to understand have more of a impact than those who don’t do that.
It’s okay to fail– When I was in high school I had a teacher that I will never forget because she would constantly remind us that we were failures if we didn’t pass the standarized test required to graduate. Some people are not good test-takers and that is okay because your test scores does not determine your success in life. I had a difficult time passing the standarized test required to graduate because my learning disability made it difficult. I was upset when I couldn’t pass the test required because I had it in my head that failure was bad but realized I was missing the point. People associate failure as something bad but I don’t think it’s all negative because with every failure come a lesson that can helps you do better next time. Don’t be a afraid of failure because even the greatest doctors have failed a test before they became experts in their field and the most important thing isn’t the mistake itself but what you do with it.
Sometimes the best response is to walk away- People sometimes do not see eye to eye on things and that is okay because that is what makes us unique individuals The problem that a lot of people have that destroys friendships is that you always need the last word and can’t walk away when you disagree. You are not always going to agree with everyone and that is okay but you don’t have to and sometimes the best solution for dealing with disagreements is knowing your right and walking away. Every conversation you have doesn’t have to consist of you arguing who’s right because sometimes you both will think that you are and it’s going to keep going in circles until someone decides stop and walk away.
You should never tell a disabled person how to indentify- When I was in school I can remember always being yelled at when I called myself disabled or anyone else with a disability because it was considered negative and not normal. The word disabled is not negative nor is it a curse worse and when you go around telling disabled people that they shouldn’t identify as disabled because it’s not normal it can be harmful. The way disabled people identify is not up to abled people but it’s up to the disabled person themselves because we are the one’s living with a disability and abled people should use terms we prefer not what makes them most comfortable. When you use the word disabled you are literally just stating a fact that is healthy for a disabled person’s mental health and if you encourage denial disabled people will never accept their disabilities because they will think something is wrong with them.
Ask before touching my assistive devices- My assistive devices may have cool colors but they are an extension of my legs that allow me to move and are not toys. You should never pick up someone’s assistive device or start pushing their wheelchair without asking first because it’s invading my personal space and many disabled people hate when abled people mess with assistive devices and take away some of their independence. If you walk away with my crutches because you want to pretend to be a grandma or allow your child to you are taking away my freedom because I can’t move without my assistive devices.
Stop caring what other people think of you– People sometimes can get so worked up when someone calls them fat or says something equally as negative about their physical appearance. . If someone says something negative about your personality or physical appearance you shouldn’t let it consume you because it doesn’t make it true.. You have to stop caring what others think if you because what others think if you is not any of your business and doesn’t make you any more or less of a person. Some people say things that are meant to be constructive criticism but come out a little mean but it doesn’t make it right because you have the choice to use that comment to better yourself or totally ignore it.
Most disabilities are invisible- My disability is visible and if you met me you would I have a physical disability without me having to tell you. Some disabilities are not as visible as mine and you could literally be working with someone who has an invisible disability and not know it. Some disabled people need assistive devices all the time but other people don’t and only use them occasionally or not all. You shouldn’t be so quick to judge people and say that there is no way that a person can be disabled because unless that person is making it very obvious that they are abusing disabled privileges you can’t just make like that. It is frustrating when you see people taking advantage of close parking spots when you don’t really need them but the reality is you don’t know who is faking and who isn’t without asking.
Toxic friendship are not worth it- For a good five years, I was friends with toxic people that would talk about how desperate they were for a cure or how I could cure myself. I kept hanging on to these friends because I didn’t have a lot of people to talk to and sometimes I got lonely but I think all my toxic friends were part of the problem. I had low-self-confidence because my friends never made me feel good about myself and it wasn’t until I realized it’s better to have two real friends than one-hundred fake ones that I started feeling better about myself. I got rid of my toxic friendships because friends that make you feel bad about yourself and make you a negative person is never worth it. Real friends will help you grow and if you are hanging out with people that don’t help you grow let them go!
You should care about disabled people– Abled people sometimes will tell a disabled person that they don’t need to listen to the disabled community because they aren’t disabled. You should always listen to the disabled community because about eighty percent of all disabilities between the ages of eighteen and sixty-four were not disabled from birth but became that way through an accident or illness. If you were to become disabled you would become part of our community but if you had a habit of dismissing disabled people and needed help coping no one would want to help you. You may go your whole life and never experience a disability but you should still listen to the disabled community because part of the reason there is so much ablelism and poor accessibility is that abled people think that it’s optional and don’t need to care about disability inclusion until it affects them.
Perfect grammar is not as important on a blog- If you are a blogger that writes often you know that grammar mistakes happen and even when you read your blog post three times times through you can still misplace a comma. I am well aware that my blog posts are loaded with grammatical errors because I was not taught that in school and rely on Grammarly to catch all my mistakes but things are still missed. The reason I can thrive with blogging is because perfect grammar is not a job requirement because if it was I would fail miserably. Some bloggers break a few grammar rules on purpose to show more personality because blogging is about connecting with your readers not making sure every sentence is grammatically correct. If you have poor grammar some people won’t follow you but most people look past the fact you forgot a period and don’t care because people follow for your words not a grammar lesson. If I spelled a medical term wrong that most people wouldn’t be familiar with feel free to let me know about it but I don’t need to hear about all my misplaced commas because if you can figure out what I meant that is all that matters and blogger’s hate the grammar police!
You can be doing the same workout as friend and experience results differently- People sometimes get frustrated when they are doing the same workout and diet plan as their friend but are not seeing results at the same rate. How is it even fair that your friend can eat dessert every night and drop twenty pounds but you, on the other hand, make better choices and the scale barely moves. You can be following the exact same diet and workout plan as your friend but experience results at a totally different rates because everyone has different body types. Men generally can lose weight faster than women because their metabolism are different but that doesn’t mean a woman doing the same diet plan as a man can’t reach her goals and it just make take a little longer to see results. Don’t judge yourself based on the results your friend was able to achieve because what works for one person may not work for someone else. There is no such thing as a perfect diet that works for everyone and the best diet is the one that you can stick to!
Unwanted health advice is harmful- When you are disabled you are constantly dealing with people trolls that give you unwanted health advice because apparently people on Instagram can scroll my feed for five minutes and know how to cure my incurable disability. Disabled people find unwanted health advice annoying that they did not ask for annoying and when you start claiming you know the cure it can be harmful for some people Some disabled people don’t want to be healed and there is nothing you could say to convince them otherwise but some people do long for the cure. If you tell a disabled person that you know the cure yourself or know a good doctor without having any real science you are giving disabled people false hope! I don’t want to hear about how great juice can cure Spina Bifida because unless you are my doctor who studies my condition I am very certain that the cure you claim is not it!
Rest is not laziness but self-care- Rest can be hard for some because some people like to be on the go constantly but it’s something you quickly learn when you have chronic pain. Rest is not a choice when you live with chronic pain because if you push your body when you shouldn’t pain will worsen. Before I had hip replacement surgery I was working out six days a week but because I can’t do most of the moves I could before surgery I don’t work out as often. If there is one thing that working out less has forced me to learn it’s the important of resting for better results. More is not always better but sometimes less is more because without rest you will not perform at your best. It is frustrating that I am very limited in my workouts and I do miss some of my old workouts but when I can do them again it will be a little sad because doing very little exercise and still getting results.
You cannot relate to my disability without having it- Whenever an abled peson tells me that they totally understand what I am going through because they know someone with my disability I roll my eyes. If you hang out with me often you may have a better understanding of the challenges I face but unless you have my disability you cannot relate to it and that is okay because it’s not any more comforting when you claim you get it when I know you don’t. It would be like me telling a dying person with cancer that I totally get what chemo is like without ever going through those kinds of treatments. How can I fully understand an illness that I have never experienced? I may understand that cancer must be awful but I would not understand the pain fully unless I had that experience. If you can’t explain to me what it feels like to be disabled you don’t get it because all disabled people would be able to give some kind of answer but abled people wouldn’t.
Don’t judge pain you have never experienced- People can be so quick to judge the way someone copes with pain by telling them that their way is better and what you are doing is not working. How do you know how well someone’s coping strategies work if it’s pain that you have never experienced? It is one thing you offer suggestions for managing pain if someone asks for it but it’s something totally different to say you need new coping strategies. Don’t judge pain that you have never experienced because you don’t know someone’s body better than they do and even though we had one-bad day or week that doesn’t mean our coping strategies don’t work.
There are so many lessons that you will learn throughout life that will help you grow as a person and the older you get the more lesson you learn. Some lessons you learn the hard way but it’s those failures where you learn the most lessons. If everything was perfect all the time and you were successful at every single thing the first time you tried you wouldn’t have a reason to celebrate anything. I have learned more lessons in my twenties than I will ever be able to write in a single blog post and the most important lesson I want you to take away from this post is to never stop learning and not to see mistakes as something bad but a learning experience. We all will make mistakes throughout our life that we wish we could take back and the most important thing isn’t the mistake itself but the actions you to prevent it from happening again. If you liked this post make sure you check out part one to get the rest of my life lessons. What lessons have you learned throughout your life?
I read all comments because I love hearing your thoughts but you must be kind and keep all comments relevant to the post you are commenting on. You don’t have to agree with everyone but you must be civil when you do disagree because hateful comments towards me or any other commenters will not be tolerated. If you see that someone is struggling it’s okay to offer support but please do not attempt to diagnose anyone in the comment section of my blog because it can be dangerous and I can be held liable if it’s bad advice. The comment section of my blog is not for promoting yourself and any links that are dropped without me specifically saying it’s okay to do so will be deleted. If you violate my policy your comment will be edited or completely removed from my site.
Thanks for understanding!