If you know somebody that is living with a disability of any kind that affects what, and how they do things on a daily basis, then hopefully you can relate to what you read in this article. If you don’t have any kind of disability, then it can be hard to fully appreciate what they go through, not just in the physical sense, but sometimes, more importantly, in the mental sense. It might also be easy to think that you know how that person must feel, or at least use the phrase as a go to ‘comfort’ phrase, the trouble is, when it’s’ used enough by people who clearly don’t know how the other feels, it can start to become offensive.
Do your best, and treat them as ‘normal’
Unfortunately, sometimes, even your best isn’t enough when things are really on top, it takes a very special kind of person to really be able to relate to, and to empathize with somebody who’s in a situation that you’ve never been in before, whilst also being able to bring out the best in them. It’s the kind of situation whereby first-hand experience is often the key and, as above, some people don’t have anyone that they can turn to or anybody that will even take the time to ask them how they are which, sometimes is all it takes to turn a dark day into a bright one.
If you’ve ever had depression, then you will know precisely how important it is, to have the support of people that gave you assistance with daily living that understand and care, sometimes though, just being there is enough. Now, if you can imagine being in that mindset, and having a disability that prevents you from doing what you would normally do from day to day and, there is no-one there for support, you should be able to start to appreciate your friend or family members needs a bit better and, how to be more tolerable, in general.
If you add a disability, on top of either not having any support, or feeling that you don’t, then you can at least start to try and imagine what some people go through. Having said that, each individual will be slightly different in terms of how they deal with their disability, some people are born with disabilities so, they are more likely to be accustomed to the way of living that their disability requires, as will those around them. If the person’s disability is a reasonably recent issue for them, on the back of an accident or such like then, it can be a different ball game altogether.
There are times when you won’t be qualified enough to handle it
Even if you’re best friends who used to skateboard together or close family members, there will be times where certain situations are just going to be a bit too much for the average person to know how to deal with, let alone handle. Sometimes, being close can actually make it harder to intervene as there is normally an added layer of feelings, and emotions involved that you wouldn’t get elsewhere.
Utilizing the care of somebody independent, somebody impartial, and completely free from any kind of personal attachment with the person who is in need of support has been the answer for many. If you have known each other for some time, then it can actually be more difficult to be involved in the person’s care, without tarnishing your relationship, in one way, or another.
In many cases, friends and family try to overcompensate, which can then lead to embarrassment, frustration, and a general feeling of ‘being less than, in the worst-case scenarios, it can end up in resentment and relationships that aren’t anywhere near as strong as they once were. Disabilities are quite unique in that manner because some people won’t want any help at all, others will want it, but certain feelings get in the way, there are also those circumstances where the person actually needs monitoring 24/7, without it, they wouldn’t be able to take care of themselves.
Self-awareness and acceptance
Two of the most important terms in the care industry are awareness and acceptance. Interestingly enough, they are very heavily linked, and usually require some natural ability that is near to impossible to teach. Understanding the words is one thing, but actually practicing them is what’s really important, both family members, friends, carers, and the person living with the disability might need to go through a steep learning curve of understanding what they mean, the ongoing processes that you adopt, to put them into practice can make, or break the opportunity to create an even stronger bond than you had in the first place.
There’s no getting around the fact that the process is likely to be really hard work for all involved. There are some really fortunate people who are well in touch with themselves and are able to be aware of their own actions and how they have a negative effect. Acceptance should come reasonably easily if you already possess a good level of self-awareness.