I Don’t Want to Be Your Inspiration

by Krissy Ward

     Let’s just get into it... For the most part, I know people mean well, but when able bodied people tell me that I am an inspiration..... it makes me cringe. What exactly is inspiring to you? I’m just living my life like you are. My problems don’t make your problems go away. You still have your problems. My problems should not somehow make you feel better about your own problems and AND AND... Do y’all really think that’s a compliment saying that you won’t complain anymore after seeing a disabled person? Or that you’ve somehow pulled inspiration from my illness? How exactly should I feel because you’re basically telling me that my life seems so depressing that you are now thankful for things you hated. Make it make sense.

     I know you guys have seen those pictures of people in a wheelchair and they’re doing something regular degular schmegular people do like grocery shopping and the caption says “What’s your excuse?” Or something like that. It’s “inspiration porn”. Do you guys really think that low of disabled people, that our mere existence alone is inspiring to you? Also, that whole “What’s your excuse?” Thing is BS. Every disability is NOT the same. Just because you see someone climbing Mount Everest with prosthetics, does not mean that someone in a wheelchair or someone with chronic pain can also do those things. Disabilities don’t all look the same either, but that’s another conversation for another day chile.

     Honestly, I know the people in my life mean SO well when they say I inspire them and when I ask why, it’s usually “cause you get up and fight everyday”. I usually have a blank stare and I’m just thinking.. “versus what?” It’s either that or literally suicide so... are you inspired by me because I haven’t killed myself? What are you saying? I know I’m a bit cynical... well being in chronic pain for every second for over 15 years will do that to you. But seriously I DO get that people generally mean well by this statement and are in no way trying to be offensive.

     Disabled people are almost treated like babies in the sense that we are overpraised for doing... nothing essentially. We do not need your applause. We are people who do AMAZING things that have nothing to do with our illness(es). Let those REAL accomplishments be inspiration to you.