I am disabled. I have had friends, but I’ve had very few who see me as a person and not just my disability. I am beyond lucky to have you guys in my life, making a mark on my heart forever. Thank you for looking past my cerebral palsy and the struggles that come with it. I appreciate you getting to know me as a person first and making my disability secondary. Thank you for not staring and being willing to ask questions when you have them.
The friends in my small group do not see me as an inspiration. They don’t see me as just as a friend to make themselves feel better. They truly know me. Having such friends is so important because they see you as a person. They don’t care about what your disability is. It’s their choice to be friends with you, and your disability will always be there, but to them it doesn’t matter. They are the friends who tell you the truth and don’t sugarcoat things or coddle you like others do. They are the friends who look and treat you like the adult you are when others often treat you like a little kid.
In my personal experience, having friends like this has been beneficial for me and I hope for them. They don’t look at me as “inspiration porn” and they are open to the idea of what a friendship can and should look like with someone with a disability. Everyone should be able to have a friendship like that at least once in their lives. If you are disabled, thank those who love and cherish you and show them love, because they see you as you are.
So to those friends who see me for me, thank you for looking beyond the disability. Thank you for getting to see me as a person. It means more than you will ever know. I love you all.