This week, my university has celebrated Disability Appreciation Week. Speakers during chapel shared with the student body what life is like with OCD, dyslexia, sensory processing disorder, depression, albinism and many other health issues. In fact, I shared in a panel today about my journey with an eating disorder, aspergers, and more.
During this week, I have realized more than ever how many wonderful people struggle with some type of disability. Whether from a mental illness or a learning disorder, many gifted people throughout history have faced some health issue. Many great people in my own life have as well. This post is to honor all of them and state my thankfulness that they are in this world and made a positive impact on it.
877. Rachel R – How could I not include you on this list? This girl has albinism which has many difficulties that I did not know about until I met her. However, her cheerfulness and passion for life bring joy to everyone around her. Plus, she is very gifted in many areas such as music, public speaking, writing, psychology and being a great friend!
878. Demi Lovato – She is someone I have mentioned before, but I am so grateful for her advocacy and openness regarding self-harm, eating disorders, and other mental health issues.
879. Cece L – Vibrant and artistic are two of the first words I think of when Cece comes to mind. Her struggle with ADHD and mental illness has not been simple. However, her bravery shines through as she never gives up on others and hopefully not herself.
880. Stephen Hawking – What an amazing man who came over great physical disabilities and has changed the world of science! His story is iinspirational.
881. Dawson E – He helps me to realize that I am more than my disorder. His tourettes does not stop him from following his dream. His drive is an inspiration to me.
882. Moses – Surprised to see him on this list? The man stuttered and was very anxious at times. However, his role in the history of Israel is huge and never to be forgotten.
883. J – While in residential living for an eating disorder, I sought a purpose for recovery but felt hopeless. J, one of the EDTs (Eating Disorder Technicians) who were a bit like therapists that stayed with us all of the time, helped me to find motivation when she shared her own story of battling an eating disorder. I took out her name just to protect her identity.
884. Robin Williams – What a star. He will never be forgotten in my heart.
885. Kevin F – This is one of my clients who I freelance for at the moment. His blindness is not a difficulty to manage but a chance to solve problems.
886. Emily Dickinson – Agoraphobia and perhaps autism plagued her. However, this poet brought so much beauty into the world with her writings.
887. Lindsey Y – She shared along with me this morning at school about her anxiety. Everything that she said was so authentic and raw. I have loved being able to work for her at my university.
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