He still faces his fears outside of our home, every day. And he still finds ways to appreciate the life he has with the people who love and support him. He is a straight-A student with a lot of talent and potential.
My second son was diagnosed with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is on the severe end of ADHD and struggles each day to focus, clear his mind, and function to societal standards, yet, each day he is smiling, playful, silly and ready to take on the world. He finds ways to keep himself busy with fitness, football, video games, and spends a great deal of time helping his grandparents. His mind is always going and he is always learning new things online that may make him a Jeopardy winner one day!
I was diagnosed with purely obsessional (Pure O) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and ADD. Each day I struggle with the invasive thoughts that consume my mind and still allow myself to enter into this world, regardless of all the things that my mind wants me to believe will happen. As a mother I cannot allow my diagnosis to affect my every day, and it is a painful, physically draining, battle to ensure that we continue as “normal” as we possibly can as a family.
So why am I passionate about Disability Pride?... Because it is with pride that I am my sons’ mother, sharing this life, and experience with them. It is with pride that I openly raise awareness of mental health, behavioral disorders, and disabilities of all kind. It is with pride that I cherish those that I have been blessed to encounter since our diagnosis. We can all learn from one another and become part of a supportive community that does not see anyone with a disability, invisible or not, as any different than the next person. Life can be hard enough without any challenges, so to be able to take on life and the world being a little different, but a lot stronger, is something we should all celebrate and be proud of.