Heroes

This is very likely an unpopular opinion. It’s likely to insult someone. Please understand it’s not my intention to make anyone feel offended, upset or lesser because of these musings. Proceed with a mature and open mind because my intention is to try and understand something I don’t understand.

It’s about ‘heroes’.

Most specifically, people who struggle with a physical disability and continue to live a good life.

I have never understood what makes them so special that they’re given more recognition than someone who does the same thing but isn’t physically disabled.

Does that sound strange to you? It used to sound strange to me, until I slipped into a depression, coupled with severe anxiety, evasive personality disorder and more issues that I’ll spare you from hearing about.

I’m trying to avoid making this all about me, but it’s difficult not to give that impression. Please bear with me.

Is it really damn tough to live with a physical disability? Oh yes. Is it tough being trapped inside your own body and being limited in what you can do? Oh yes. Physical disability usually means you’re unable to function in society the way ‘normal’ people do. Often you need special access, special care, you’re dependent on others to help you out. I’m not saying they don’t deserve extra help or positive vibrations, because that’s the kind of thing that helps them get through it, learn to live with it and do what they want.

What I’m saying is that it’s unfair to treat them as if they’re better than everyone else for being disabled.

Being able to overcome your limitations to do what you like is commendable and an inspiration to many, but I don’t see this as a reason to elevate them above the rest of humanity.

Because if that’s how we treat people who are limited and struggling, where is my recognition when I go out to do something I like? Why isn’t what I do commendable and inspirational?

You can’t tell from the way I walk, or talk, or look that I am disabled, but I am. I can’t function properly in today’s society. I need special care and assistance to do everyday things. Going out to meet with people is so difficult for me that one meeting takes up all my energy for the day and I’m too tired to do anything else. Doing my household chores is overwhelming on most occasions.

An unexpected schedule change with my boyfriend cripples me.

Just like with a physically disabled person, I didn’t choose for any of this. These conditions were thrust upon me by life because something in my brain makes it impossible for me to deal with these things. Every day is a challenge I have to overcome again and again. Small things that seem insignificant to people who function normally can be a huge victory to me. Telling me to ‘will away these bad thoughts’ is like asking a paralyzed person to just ‘get up and walk it off’. I want to, but I can’t.

So I don’t understand why the things I do aren’t special enough. I don’t understand why, when you see a physical injury on someone, they become a ‘hero’ for struggling through life and doing their best to make the best out of it when people like me are just given funny looks and told to get over it.

Yes, I know that a physical shortcoming is more difficult to fake than a mental disorder. Yes, I know people abuse mental disorders to gain attention and pity because it’s so hard to understand and measure by looking at someone.

Why can’t we just judge people by their accomplishments, their personality and good deeds and leave something like physical and mental condition out?

Sure, Billy may have lost his legs. But maybe Billy was a total jerk before it happened. Does losing your legs suddenly turn you into an aspiring individual who will go to extreme lengths to do good? It may cause some people to reevaluate their life and try harder, but this isn’t automatically true for everyone. Billy lost his legs, but he doesn’t deserve to be elevated to ‘hero status’ just for that.

Billy will have to prove it, just like the rest of us.

I will have to prove it, just like the rest of us.

Heroes are measured by the things they do, not the things they have overcome. I don’t understand why this isn’t a more common thought.

Because this is an unpopular opinion, my best friends likely will never get the recognition they deserve more than Billy, a fictional person. They will continue to live their lives as seemingly unimportant and disposable individuals even though they are more generous and friendly and caring than any disabled person I’ve known. They saved my life with their kindness and words, and yet they are not considered heroes even when Billy is.

I don’t understand it.

 

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