It’s really easy to assume something about a person and make a quick judgment based only on what you observe. It’s really easy to judge someone by the way they behave, the way they dress, and the way they look.
In reality, that’s what we all do 90% of the time. We know that it’s not smart to judge a book by its cover, but we still do it. We don’t bother to look beyond what is visible to us. To ask questions. To stop before we speak. To take a peek at what is happening below the surface.
It’s really disappointing … Especially when you realize that each and every single one of us carries a certain burden inside our hearts. And that the smile that we often show to this world doesn’t always equate to happiness. It’s sad… And it’s difficult to pretend.
This is a problem. A problem that most people with invisible disabilities struggle with.
Illness doesn’t always look like you often expect it. Some conditions do not require people to spend their lives confined to their beds. It can be present in many ways. And sometimes these ways cannot be perceived by an untrained eye. Because of that, some of these people are faced to struggle with simply being alive in this broken society of ours.
They spend their lives proving their worth. Explaining themselves to others. Finding ways to make themselves presentable and more likable to the outer world. Doing their best to fit into the mold of averageness.
One of the aspects they struggle with is employment. In some cases, people with disabilities even face employment restrictions. Restrictions that have no basis. No proof. Those who are brave enough to prove that they are capable of working and doing things regardless of their disability succeed and sometimes, they even benefit from that.
But, why? Why does it have to be that way?
Why do these poor individuals have to prove themselves worthy? And to whom?
Disability, whether it’s visible or invisible, should not be a reason to discriminate. People with conditions should not be treated like they are less than human. They are not less than us. If anything, they are more. They are condemned to live a much more challenging life than the rest of us, and they do it. Surprisingly, in most cases, they do it better than us. They are more determined and more courageous than some of us. They dare to dream. To move forward. To find joy. To be alive. Because to them, that is the only thing that really matters.
People with invisible disabilities are humans, just like you and me. And they do not deserve to be treated like they are less. These people have the right to do whatever they feel like doing, as long as that brings them joy. They have the right to choose how they will heal. They have the right to live this life according to their own rules and their own needs. And if finding a job, or socializing like the rest of us helps them just a little bit, then that should not be taken away from them.
Living life with an invisible disability is carrying a burden of proof everywhere they go. But it is having the courage to stand up and let the world who they really are, hoping for acceptance and compassion.
So, let us give them that. Let us help them carry the weight of their burden. It is the least we can do.