Let’s Talk About This – 2

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a guy who questioned my use of a walking stick whilst walking home and I asked if anyone else had experienced anything similar.

I’ve had a couple of responses, all of which said they too have experienced some kind of judgement for being “too young” or not looking disabled enough to be using their mobility aids. Some of the prying questions shared include “what’s wrong with you?”, “what happened?” and “That’s just for fashion, right?” And I feel these are all incredibly inappropriate. People don’t questions those who have crutches due to a broken leg or a little old lady who walks upright but still has a walking stick, yet they seem to feel they need to “call out” those who look young and fit and healthy for using these same aids. It’s also no one elses business why someone is using a mobility aid yet people feel they have the right to ask and demand such information.

A few other things that people have had said to them whilst using their aids are “you don’t look handicapped.” and “you shouldn’t be allowed to work in public. You make people uncomfortable.” This is also really inappropriate and rude. Like I said before, it’s no one else business why someone is using a mobility aid but to say they make make you feel uncomfortable is selfish, unkind and, above all, completely insensitive. It is not our job, as chronically ill and/or disabled individuals, to ensure the healthy and able-bodied feel comfortable and happy around us. No one should be made to feel uncomfortable around other people but if someone in a wheelchair or using a walking stick makes you feel that way, then try to imagine how it must be for them. Don’t voice how they make you feel because it’s not that persons fault you feel awkward, they don’t control your emotions.

I know some people would advise to not say anything in these situations and I must admit, I’m not one for starting an argument or making a scene, but what do you think? Would you argue or answer someone if they questioned you for using a mobility aid? What would you say? Would ignore them?

Lastly, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to @maknaebias, @that-eds-life and @notsograndadventures for your contributions! You’re all amazing people and I really appreciate you sharing your stories with me.


Your illness has not made you ugly

Your feeding tube has not made you ugly.

Your ostomy has not made you ugly

Your cane has not made you ugly

Your wheelchair has not made you ugly

Your oxygen has not made you ugly

Your wig/your bald head has not made you ugly

Your teeth or lack of has not made you ugly

Your body has not made you ugly

Your medications has not made you ugly

Your rashes, blemishes, scars and bruises has not made you ugly

Not being able to shower has not made you ugly

Flashbacks and paranoia has not made you ugly

Changes in your body and brain has not made you ugly

Having seizures has not made you ugly

Your trauma, depression and anxiety has not made you ugly

Your hallucinations, brain fog, and confusion has not made you ugly

Your lack of control over your body, brain, mood and life has not made you ugly.

Please never feel ashamed or ugly about what your illness has done to you, no matter what it has changed it can not change the beauty that you have, so even if you feel like youre not beautiful right now, please remember,

You are beautiful and your disability can never take that from you.

“You are beautiful and your disability can never take that from you.”

@ people with disabilities that dont affect them greatly or every day



you are still disabled

your struggles are still valid

just because you arent sick all the time, it doesnt mean you arent sick.

just because you dont have many limitations, it doesnt mean you cant vent about the limitations you do have, because if your illness takes away even one experience/ability/feeling from you, its already taken too much.

dont let people invalidate you because you arent as “disabled as you could be”, because you are disabled, come @ them if they try to tell you youre not.

dont feel like you shouldnt be upset that you have this illness, just because it doesnt always affect you, or doesnt constantly affect you, it doesnt mean it doesnt affect you.

please dont feel like you have to constantly prove youre disabled, and if you do, remember that you are disabled, and you do have hardships and that you deserved to be believed.

I am so sorry you have to go through this, you shouldnt have to.

and above all

youre important and your issues, whether they be small or large, are important.

you matter.


Are you insulting your chronically ill friends?


Some subtly ableist but common phrases you should avoid.

“Get better soon!”
Should be, “I hope you feel better soon, or your symptoms decrease!”

“I’m normal/healthy.”
Should be, “I am able-bodied.”

“You’re differently abled/unhealthy/not normal.”
Should be, “You’re disabled.”

“You’d feel better if you tried yoga/prayer/whatever.”
Should be, “What treatments have you tried?”

“Oh my god! What happened to you?”
Should be, “How are you doing? May I ask, why you are using mobility device/brace/cast?”

“I have headaches so I completely understand your chronic migraines.”
Should be, “I cannot understand your illness, since the worst I have ever suffered is headaches. Let me know if there is anything I can do to better understand you.”

“You should get out more.”
Should be, “May I come over sometime to share a meal with you or relax?.”

“It must be so nice not to have to work/go to school.”
Should be, “It must be difficult to not be able to have an income or continue your education. Let me know if there is any way I can help you pursue your dreams.”

“It’s so tragic that [insert media character] is disabled.”
Should be, “I’m glad to see the media is portraying a character that represents 70% of the population.”

“I would just die if I had your condition!”
Should be, “I don’t understand how you cope with your condition. Can you explain to me how you’ve accepted your disability?”

“I’ve been praying that God will heal you!”
Should be, “Would you like me to pray for your healing?”

“I wish I could take my dog everywhere with me!”
Should be, “I’m glad that you have the resources to use such a multipurpose mobility aid such as a Service Dog.”

[First thing you say to the person] “I have been praying for you! God has your health in his mind!”
Should be, “How are you? Do you need any encouragement?”

“You are such an inspiration because you are disabled and coping with it!”
Should be, any other compliment not having to do with their ability to cope with a disability.

“I’m going to push your wheelchair now.”
Should be, “Do you want me to push you now?”

“But you don’t LOOK sick!”
Should be, “All disabilities are different, do you consider yours to be an invisible illness? How does it affect you?”

“Hey, at least it’s not Cancer.”
Should be, “It must be difficult to accept such a lifelong diagnosis. Is there any way I can help you?”

Add more subtly ableist phrases or alternatives! Show people how to communicate with us without it being so awkward!