Proud of a disability? A phrase so foreign to my ears that I stopped channel hopping.
After seeing clients until 9 pm tonight I was tired. Switched on the TV looking for something mind-numbing. I got the opposite when I stumbled onto a PBS program called Brain Injury Dialogues, a documentary on adults who had sustained life-altering brain injury.
A man who looked normal, just like me, was saying “I’m proud of my disability”! He had a frontal lobe injury which severely impaired his memory and created “disinhibition”, (a fancy word for not being able to control things like anger or impulsivity, disregard for social conventions, and poor risk assessment.
Proud of a disability as profound as brain injury where personality changed, memory retrieval is permanently impaired, loss of functioning on your own is gone .. . .? My finger by now was frozen on the remote control.
The word PROUD reverberated.
I had just spent all afternoon and evening helping disabled people find pride in what they can do and who they are : People crippled with doubt; paralyzed with pain; Frozen with fear; Unable to move forward; Consumed with grief. People who look normal. Just like me.
Brain Injury Dialogues, Clip 3 – Brain Injury Pride
I do believe that each of us, with our own hidden disabilities, can do something to be proud of to help the “person in the next bed”: Send $1 to Red Cross Relief; read stories to children in school; rock a baby in neo-natal care; write a note to a soldier; clean out a closet and donate to charity; text message “I love you” to a friend, call a relative to say I’m thinking about you; smile at a stranger.
It’s the grand gestures that make the news. It’s the small ones that create pride in “our family of man”.
P. S. I send my love and gratitude to all of you who follow this blog. Max sends multiple licks