Who Am I? What Should I Call Myself?

Author: Sameer Bhide - Contact: Contact Details
Published: 2022/07/30 - Updated: 2023/09/26
Publication Type: Opinion Piece / Editorial
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: I am making this choice of calling myself differently abled, and I am not just saying this verbally but making sure my thoughts, actions, and emotions also reflect it. Who am I? What should I call myself? I am the same person, but I am physically different now. Should I call myself handicapped, crippled, or disabled? I am not a philosopher or have done any research on this topic - but I am calling myself "differently abled." Before, I was a physically active person and played competitive sports in my growing years. Now my health situation has severely limited my physical abilities. I can barely walk, have constant dizziness and headaches, etc.

Introduction

Who Am I? This is a question all of us face in our lives. I think more about this now as I face my new normal after massive changes in my life over the past five and half years. Before, I was a physically active person and played competitive sports in my growing years. Now my health situation has severely limited my physical abilities. I can barely walk, have constant dizziness and headaches, etc. I continue to ask myself - Who am I? What should I call myself? I am the same person, but I am physically different now. Should I call myself handicapped, crippled, or disabled? I am not a philosopher or have done any research on this topic - but I am calling myself "differently abled."

Main Digest

To me, calling yourself handicapped, crippled, or disabled has negative connotations. Saying "differently abled" is more positive. I am not at all denying that I am limited in my physical abilities - just that I accept it even if it is extremely hard to do so, just not attaching negative meaning to it. I look at it: yes, I am physically different; my physical activities are severely restricted. Yes, it isn't easy to live with these physical challenges, but I am the same person and have the same soul, mental abilities, and the same nature and traits - just that I am physically different.

I believe many others with limited physical abilities feel the same way. I also believe that this kind of thinking by these people is important for sure, but equally important is for others and society, in general, to think this way also. We certainly do not want sympathy, pity, or special treatment from others but just an acknowledgment - that we are different, that's it, simply different. We are trying hard to accept the way it is.

We appreciate help and support from others as we navigate our physical limitations - we really do and are grateful. However, the more independent we are, the more empowered we are, and the better it is for us.

I have come a long way from being totally bedridden to now. I am truly thankful for that. And I constantly remind myself that although my physical abilities are severely restricted, at least I can do this much - it was almost over five and half years ago. I am lucky to have survived and been where I am now. Many are not that lucky. I must accept my new reality the way it is, not the way I want it - And I am trying.

Everything in life one does is a result of choices one makes. Many are choices one makes consciously, but some are made subconsciously or unconsciously - but it is still a choice. I am making a choice to be positive and hopeful despite my challenges and want not just to survive but thrive in this state. I am making this choice of calling myself "differently abled." And I am not just saying this verbally but making sure my thoughts, actions, and emotions also reflect it.

Sameer Bhide

Sameer Bhide has faced several adversities over the past few years and has done many things to heal his mind, body, and spirit. Despite his many severe adversities, he felt profoundly grateful to have this second lease on life. He wanted to give back to society - i.e., to help others going through adversity or any other life changes by sharing his stories, experiences, and lessons learned from my journey. His mission became to help and guide people worldwide on how one can prepare for and embrace their new normal. He found a way by penning his award-winning transformational memoir One Fine Day. Besides helping others, he wrote his memoir to thank the hundreds of kind, generous, and compassionate caregivers, friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and supporters here in his adopted country (USA) and his country of birth (India) who have helped him come back from the brink of death.

Sameer grew up in Mumbai, India. He completed his bachelor's degree in Accounting before moving to the United States 32 years ago to pursue higher studies. Like many other immigrants, he had lived the American dream - a great job, loving family, a beautiful house, and a sports car till January 2017, when his life changed forever. Currently, he is on Long Term Disability and lives in Vienna, Virginia.

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Cite This Page (APA): Sameer Bhide. (2022, July 30). Who Am I? What Should I Call Myself?. Disabled World. Retrieved May 26, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/blogs/question.php

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