The Walking Dead Season 4 starts this weekend! So I thought it would be a good time to repost this old post I did February 2012.
The other day, after explaining I was Deaf and legally Blind, I got the pitiful comment: "Oh I could never be Deaf or Blind.".
I've also heard:
"I wouldn't know what to do!"
"I would never survive..."
"I'd rather curl up and die..."
"I feel sorry for you..."
So let me put it into an analogy you might understand. How about in the context of the Zombie Apocalypse craze we're experiencing on TV and in Movies? Like "The Walking Dead" on AMC. A highly successful TV series (with over 5.3 million people watching Season One; and over 7 million watching Season 2). (yeah yeah I'm a fan shhh)
A) So what if tomorrow ya woke up in a Zombie Infested world? Hole yourself up in your house? Don't forget there won't be electricity so there's no Video Games, Texting, IM, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or Pinterest! Ok so after the Electronics Withdrawals have subsided, now what?
B) So what if you wake up one day and you were disabled? After you've gone through the 7 stages of Grief, you'll wonder what's next.
2. First Steps
A) "I wouldn't know what to do!" - Find a grocery store or restaurant and grab some food. "But that's stealing!" - Fine, starve. "I can't eat that!" - Like you have a choice? Shaddup and eat the Kitty Kabobs.
B) "I wouldn't know what to do!" - Then learn! Find out everything about your disability, it's cause and prognosis. Find an agency to teach you new skills. "I can't learn a new language (Sign Language/Braille)" - Then you'll be "holed up" in your little world with little outside interaction/communication. "I'll look stupid using this (wheelchair/white cane/prosthesis)" - Think of it as a tool and not a "label". Trust me, you'll look stupider trying to get around without.
A) "I would never survive" - The human spirit has a strong will to live, find other survivors and pool your resources and support. Learn from others skills you don't have. "I've never fired a gun before" - Just aim and squeeze the trigger. "I've never shot anyone" - First time for everything.
B) "I would never survive" - Find a local or online disability support group. Finding out others are going through the same struggles can uplift you and not feel so alone. Share experiences on what's working or not working for you, others might know a better way of doing things.
A) "I'd rather curl up and die" - Then you're Zombie Fodder, short and simple.
B) "I'd rather curl up and die" - Fine, be a burden on your loved ones, your friends, the system and everyone else.
Just like the characters in the show who didn't ask to be there but were forced into the situation. I didn't ask to be Deaf or Blind. It was just the "pokerhand I was dealt". I don't need you feeling sorry for me, being patronizing and condescending, assumptions of inferior intellect, or just plain rudeness! So next time you get the urge to blurt out a selfish comment, think about the person you're talking to. Besides, if this is the way you act and think all the time, then you'd be safe in a Zombie Apocalypse. Zombies only like brains - and you don't have one!