I was taught to never focus on my disability but instead to focus on the positives. This really gave me a strong foundation to deal with other people’s perceptions.
As a child I was first diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. This caused a developmental delay in maturity and caused quite a lot of bullying, but I grew stronger.
Later in my teenage years I was diagnosed with Paranoia Schizophrenia but I didn’t let that stop me either. I learnt how to accept it and not hide from it, and at the same time not allow it to define me. I know I’m so much more than that.
Despite all the bullying, I chose to rise above, which gave me a lot of strength. I learnt to focus on what I can do instead of what I can’t. My younger years helped me to keep moving forward and realise my full potential of being happy, empowered, independent, free, and passionate.
When you accept yourself it gives you a lot of courage, and I needed this, because some people do get stuck on the fact that I have “different abilities,” as I like to say.
I see that I’m so much more than the labels. I’m a unique individual and I want to be treated like that; I want others to see that I am nice, funny, I like making friends and I’m an active community member, that I’m polite, kind, gentle yet strong and I’m protective of other people who are also differently abled.
In my perfect world people with different abilities would be treated how they want to be treated, and often that’s just like everyone else.
My life has given me edge and has made me strong – because that’s who I am.
I recently had the courage to leave an eight and a half year marriage that I didn’t want to be in anymore.
The hardest part was saying “I’m leaving you, as soon as I find a place I’m out of here,” I couldn’t believe I actually said it, but I immediately felt better.
I do think it’s harder for people with different abilities to leave relationships but it shouldn’t be that way.
I want to live in a world where living with different abilities isn’t seen as a bad thing, that it’s ok. I live how I want to live, I’m free and I stand up for what I need and for that I’m proud of who I am and that’s what truly makes me different.
I’ve been working at Endeavour Foundation Wacol for a while and it has given me a lot of strength to believe in myself. Work has become a really important part of my life.