Self love is a hard thing to achieve, especially when there is something wrong with your body that drastically changes not only how you see yourself, but how others view you as well. I know how hard it is to love yourself fully when you are constantly in a fight with your own body- some days it might even seem impossible. I know how it feels to be viewed as broken and I know how it feels to believe it. Here is your daily reminder that your body may be broken but you are not.
When someone sees you as broken, there is a very specific look in their eyes. That look is pity. In case it is not common sense, sick people do not want your pity- we want to be seen with compassion. There is a big difference. It's hard enough to see yourself in a positive way when your body is failing you let alone when people see you as broken.
Society tends to view the disabled community a certain way- helpless or burdens. And it is easy to feel that way yourself at times. Half of the public buildings out there aren't even handicap accessible (even though they claim to be). There has been so many times that I've needed to use a public restroom but couldn't because there wasn't one that fit my wheelchair (including so called "disabled stalls"). There has been times that I couldn't cross the street at a crosswalk because they didn't have a low curb. There has countless times that I couldn't enter a public place like the bank or starbucks because they didn't have a ramp at the entrance. Each time I've encountered a situation like that, I felt like I didn't matter. I felt less than human. I felt broken when in reality it is society that is broken.
There has been dozens of times where people assume that I can only date someone who is sick as well. Friends try to set me up on dates with someone who uses a wheelchair because we "have so much in common" when in reality the only thing we have in common is the fact that we are disabled. What that says to me is that a healthy person can't love me because I'm sick- because I'm broken.
Of course truly loving myself seems impossible at times, especially when my body doesn't love me back, but overall, I've learned to love myself. I start each day off by reminding myself that I am not broken. I've said it so many times now that I've come to
believe it. And I thank my body for the things that it can do, even when its a struggle.
I don't know who needs to hear this, but you are not broken, even if your body is. It is how society views and treats the disabled community that is broken.