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Dealing vs living with disabilities

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Glen1981
Glen1981 Community member Posts: 18 Connected
Hi all

I am nearly three weeks into therapy for the umpteenth time and this time I think I have found the main cause of my anxiety and depression.

I was diagnosed with learning disabilities at 25 but have never learnt to live with having disabilities.

At work, the job centre and even by some lecturers at union the message was always “you must work harder, you must match the abilities of everyone else in-spite your disabilities” so while other people worked 8 hour days I would work 16+ hours to get the same amount of work done and then be exhausted on my days off and not only tired, but irritable and frustrated.

Since my diagnosis I have gone from saying to myself “I am not stupid or lazy” to “I don’t have a disability” and I have concluded this week that I have to change my internal monologue.

But this is hard, when society still says “You must achieve the same as everyone else even if you have to take twice, three, four, five times as long to do the same amount of work” and “If you can’t do it maybe take a break and stack boxes in a factory or fill shelves in a supermarket” which to me is the same as “you are too stupid and lazy, you can’t do A-levels or do a degree or do a masters” and I don’t like it.

I would love any advice on how others have learnt to live with their disabilities and not in-spite (and hating) their disabilities? And how you deal with society telling you to get over it, and be the same as everyone else?

Thank you, keep well everyone

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi and welcome to the community 

    It is difficult coming to terms with any disability and takes time and support 

    Get support from charities that specialise in your specific disability they often have great website 

    Talking to others who have similar experience can also help 


  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,503 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @Glen1981 :) I think you've raised some important and interesting points here, and your post is really well written. 

    I'm not disabled myself, so I don't want to encroach on the discussion, but I've definitely heard many disabled people talk about struggling to manage society's expectations, and be more accepting of themselves. You're not alone in feeling that way.

    It's great to hear that you've been having some talking therapy, and that this has helped you to understand your thoughts and feelings a bit more. It sounds like you've had a bit of a breakthrough, which can be really challenging, but positive as well. 
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  • Glen1981
    Glen1981 Community member Posts: 18 Connected
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    I have learnt today that this is Black and White thinking, it comes from relating all the negative events growing up with being disabled and seeing disabilities as bad and normal as good. Then filtering my life to hide my disability from myself, even while being a “disability champion” for others. 

    I need to get my disabilities recognised by myself and the government so I am not working 78+ hours a week to do a 39 hours a week job and destroying my mental health, that has “worked” up till now, but I’m really really poorly because of it, I am twitching and shacking and hyperventilating even doing the simple act of writing this. 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,503 Disability Gamechanger
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    Blimey, those are really long hours @Glen1981! Do you have any reasonable adjustment at work? 

    Thanks for explaining black and white thinking, too. That makes a lot of sense.
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