How can I stop feeling so embarrassed about the things I have to help me with my disability?
Last Updated: 05/03/2020 at 5:30pm
Andrea Tuck, LCPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
I tackle and discuss a multitude of social and emotional health issues. I have a belief that through empowerment and non-judgmental support clients' can thrive.
Top Rated Answers
Life is to short to have others decide your strength. Your disability only makes you stronger, keep your head up and remember that your jobs not to please others but to please yourself and there is no need to feel embarrassed for being you!
Only very very few people can say that they are fully healthy. Some have allergies, others asthma or more common disabilities or diseases. Just because your disability may cause you more problems or is more visible to thers doesn't make it something you should be ashamed of. I have health problems too and I prefer not to tell others if I don't need to but I am trying to not feel ashamed. You are just as human as everyone else and what really matters is the inside of you, your opinions, humour, intelligence and personality in general. Many people like Stephen Hawkings proved it. And you can too. If you can't change the world change the way you see it and others will change the way they see you.!
Have you tried acknowledging the feeling to others? If they are adding to your embarrassment, this might slow them down. I had an embarrassing situation in church a couple of weeks ago. I had previously had someone bring in a special chair of mine which I need to sit in because of my spine injuries. When I arrived at church, a three-year-old was sitting in the chair, with his family next to him in adjacent chairs. I had to approach them and say (to the three-year-old), "I'm really sorry, but I need to sit in that chair." To which several people sitting nearby replied (ignorantly), "Just take another chair!" I felt embarrassed and humiliated, but it was a moment of truth for me and a moment of challenge in getting what I need. "It's a special chair I need because of my back, " I countered. "I can't sit comfortably in another chair, so I really need you to give me my chair." The three-year-old screamed when his parents removed him from the chair, and I felt like an ogre, but only for five minutes. We found another "special chair" for the three-year-old and he was fine. His parents should have known better and not let him sit in the chair...everyone in church knows it's my chair and I need it. The confrontation was embarrassing. But my takeaway is that I didn't abandon myself in that situation. I didn't just walk away and leave church. I had a right to be there, I had a right to what I needed to be there (especially since I had had the chair brought in), and I had a right to take it back when someone else took it. It didn't stop me from feeling very embarrassed about the whole incident. I don't know if the feeling can be stopped, but we can stop ourselves from acting solely out of that feeling. Does that make sense? I also don't like having to declare to people I barely know that I'm injured and have needs. That feels like something private that I should have more control over declaring. But the bottom line is that I can't let my embarrassment keep me from participating in life.
Sometimes you just have to accept that you might not be able to do the same things as everyone but that doesn't mean you can't be as badass as them. I don't know what disability you have but if you need an object or some sort of contraption to help you then own that! People need to accept that not everyone is the same. You have nothing to be embarrassed about, you're just as human as everyone else.
Are you embarrassed about the disability or the things that you need to help you with the disability? As a listener and a person with a disability, I can understand your embarrassment. Mine came from my fear of what others would think of me. All that it took for me to appreciate those things more than I feared the opinion of others was to not have those things when I needed them. This works with procrastination, too. Whenever you notice that you are about to procrastinate again, just recall the stressful feelings of anxiety and frustration that accompanied the last time that you procrastinated. One of my undergraduate professors gave me that technique and it's worked ever since. I cannot offer you advice. However, I can tell you that what I do to get rid of that embarrassing feeling is to remember when I did not have all those things that I needed. I imagine or recall what that felt like and then I say 'thank you' for what I have now. That "attitude of gratitude" takes the embarrassment away every time. It is a blessing to have the things we need when we need them.
It can help to hang out with other disabled people and talk about disability aids and issues like that. If you can't get to any in person, try doing it online through social media groups and email lists.
Just try to know that you gotta do what you gotta do, and in the end, there really is nothing embarrassing about living life and staying strong
I understand that feeling different is very difficult to live with; just because you live with a disability doesn't make you anymore different to anyone else, we all have our uniqueness. I think just trying to accept that you have to have these things to make your life easier so therefore nobody else should be concerned with what you are doing and focus on their own lives. If it is making your life easier, continue with it, don't worry what anyone else thinks because those who mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind.
Remember that any accommodations that you need (glasses, wheelchair, etc.) are just as much a part of your body as your heart, nose and mouth. They all work together to make you the unique person that you are. As long as you're nice to everyone who you encounter, nobody will be any the wiser because everyone will only see into your wonderful soul.
Living with a disability can be challenging. However, it is nothing to be embarrassed about. Chances are, you didn't cause your disability. Even if you did, you are here now, and self-judgment is not useful. Now yes, you might need devices and ways of doing things that others don't need. However, your underlying needs and rights are the same as everyone else's. You may have to eat differently than others or chew with false teeth, but you still have to eat. You may walk with a cane or crutch, use a wheelchair, or use prosthetic hips, knees or limbs, but you still have to move from one place to another. It is helpful to think of one's disability as a medical condition, and with medical conditions, there are prescribed treatments. There is no need to feel guilty or embarrassed about having a medical condition that needs treatment.
I have an IEP at school, an individualized education plan. SO I have many accommodations and things to help me. I used to be embarrassed by them as well. And then I realized that it brings me up to their plate. I may not be fully there, but I realize it is there to help me especially when I get bad and I learned to not be embarassed and take it for granted.
I think following disability advocates helps a lot. Find people on instagram, twitter, and facebook who post about disability advocacy and are explicit about their needs and their societal worth. I think the first step is realizing that you're not alone - and that able bodied individuals need accommodations all the time. Plus the accommodations that the disabled community propose help EVERYONE. The more mainstream adaptive technologies are, the more common we see assistive devices, the better the world is for everyone. Reading up on internalized ableism might be helpful too. We've all grown up in a world that discriminates against disabled people, and it's really heavy to put that weight on your shoulders to acknowledge your disability and adapt best you can. Reading memoirs by disabled people can be really really helpful. Understanding that discrimination is a choice, and that barriers to access are built by wrongful assumptions, can help too.
Related Questions: How can I stop feeling so embarrassed about the things I have to help me with my disability?
How to accept that I am deaf/ have a hearing loss?What is the biggest challenge that you face being disabled?How can you motivate yourself and a loved one through your disability? Especially with costs for supplies or treatments. How do you not feel like a burden?Help I am 41 and stay at my mom's and I want to know if I should leave as she controls my life and takes things and I have been isolated from before the virus?How do you cope with going from independent to like fully dependent on others to do everything for you? How do I cope with chronic fatigue, as in CFS/ME?I have been suppressing my sexual feelings for one month now and time to time for months, How to give up sexual desires forever? Because I feel what I feel sexually is wrong? Any suggestions orTherepyWhere to find people (including LGBTQ+) who're willing to date disabled persons?How can I better manage my tourettes without the support of my parents?Even with hearing aids, I don't hear well. I have the top-of-the-line oticons and my audiologist insists I'm hearing OK, but I miss so much. People say, "TURN UP YOUR HEARING AIDS!" What to do?