[Image shows 3 spoons lying on a laptop keyboard. Overlapping is a clipart image of torn notebook paper with a red paper clip. On the paper reads “Hope is a Dangerous Thing”: Accepting Things As They Are” with a pink daisy in the upper right corner. At the bottom of the banner is the Url for Thee Crohnie Grace Blog]
“Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” -Stephen King
There was a moment in my life when all I wanted was for all my illnesses to be cured. I prayed and pleaded with the rulers of the universe that something would happen, a miracle maybe, and I would wake up and not be sick anymore. This was what I spent all day thinking about and wishing for. I became depressed because I wasn’t content with treatments and having a bit of normalcy, I wanted to be like “everyone else” and be healthy again. It was a terrible mentality that I struggled with for years.
And at some point, with the help of friends struggling as well, I realized that I didn’t need to be cured to be happy and feel whole. Everyone else wanted me cured. But I was content for the first time with the treatments, for the good days, for the treatment, instead of wanting more all the time.
If someone were to offer me a cure right now, I would still likely take it, but not for the reasons I used to. Before, I wanted to fit in, be like everyone else, to be seen as their equal. And now I’ve accepted my limitations and I couldn’t be happier. I am whole still. I am no less than everyone else and I have no desire to be cured for the benefits of others.
Even now a days I will have people ask me “Well is that feeding tube going to be permanent? When are you getting that ostomy reversed? You should try walking more without your mobility device?” And it’s because they think these things make my life less than whole, or at least that’s what I imagine.
But I have been given a number of extra good days thanks to my feeding tube, my ostomy, and my mobility device. I have accepted that these things are a part of my life, and it has empowered me and helped me become a happier person overall.
And it’s also just highly unrealistic to hope for cures for everything. My genetics are messed up and that’s pretty hard to reverse, so I would much rather have a good quality of life rather than focus only on curing things. As well as the fact that diseases mutate, much like the million flu strains we have now-a-days. So we may be able to eliminate one of the causes of a disease, but that doesn’t mean that genetics won’t continue to mutate, continue to change and evolve, and then we will end up will a million and one types of said illness.
Plus the “cure mentality” leaves disabled people out of movies, comics, books, shows, etc. Often times when a character becomes disabled it is wrote out of the books, or “cured”. Think Hunger Games, Katniss and Peta both were left disabled after the first Hunger Games but it was completely wrote out of the movies. In the comic books, Hawkeye is deaf, and in the Avengers he can hear. In the DC comics, Batgirl becomes disabled and in a wheelchair up until she was magically cured. And they justify this by saying, “It’s a fantasy world.”
If people can have mutant abilities, why can’t they be disabled, something that exists in the real world. The lack of disabled characters in media is disheartening, not only for someone like me at 18, but for children who are disabled and cannot find anyone to relate to in these forms of entertainment.
Accepting things is okay, it’s not giving up, it can be relieving to accept your limitations and stop trying to pursue something unreachable. It has given me a peace of mind. Being disabled is okay. It’s not a bad thing. It’s not a good thing. It just is. And we need to stop that erasure. I am Grace, I have red hair, and I also have a feeding tube, ostomy, and use a mobility aid. It’s just a fact.