I wrote this yesterday, and I've debated on whether or not to share this ever since. It's not quite as positive or uplifting as some of my other posts, but it's real. This is honesty and vulnerability in its purest form, and while my goal is to be positive and encouraging, I want to be honest and truly show what having a disability is like. I penned this after I had to do something in a different way than everyone else, and I was embarrassed because of it. The stares that came my way made me feel vulnerable in a painful way, and the gratitude I felt when a friend of mine unknowingly made that pain disappear. Please let me know what you think in the comments!
Something changes in the moments when I feel defined by my disability.
Knots form in my stomach, and self consciousness tightens my muscles, making an already difficult task even harder. I become acutely aware of every single sound, every single movement, every single voice in the room as I struggle to breathe through the pain that has overtaken me: Please don't stare at me. Please don't think any differently of me. Please understand. Please. Please.
I'm cloaked in uncomfort and drowning in embarrassment. I'm sorry I can't do this on my own. I'm sorry this is so difficult. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
I'm crying out, but the pain is so intense I can't say a thing. I can't even make my lips form a prayer to call on the one person who could possibly ease my nerves. Look into my eyes. Don't you see how this affects me? Can't you tell that I don't want to do this?
I long to be normal. I long to be able to complete every day tasks with ease, to be able to live without being bound by ropes that were tied without my permission. In this moment, trapped by an ocean of pain, I can't even remember that I was dealt this deck of cards for a reason. I can't do anything, other than try to soothe the monster that won't be tamed.
But just as it becomes too much, just as the ocean overtakes me, you reach in and pull me out. Your smile is my raft; I float upon your kindness. Please keep talking. Please make this go away.
Your voice untangles my ropes, and I'm able to rub the redness from my wrists. As our words flow, the monster disappears and I become Robyn again. Your stories are the dam that stops the rushing adrenaline, your laughter is the salve that relaxes my clenched muscles. You comfort me, you calm me, you revive me. Without knowing it, you've put me back together, and all at once, I can breathe again.