I did not know until a few years ago that there was such a thing as Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. It took me by surprise, actually. My initial thought was: “Really? We need one?” It actually bothered me, at first, because I did not want people with my condition to be singled out anymore than they already were. On a personal level: I did not want to be singled out for my condition, when I go out in the world, any more than I already am.
Over the years, my perspective has changed. I think having an awareness month is good for society. It allows me the opportunity to answer questions people have. Not that I could not and will not always do so. However, I feel like people are more apt, to ask questions, during March because they are more likely to be actively thinking about them.
March being CP awareness month gives me the opportunity to use social media hashtags for it on all of my social media posts. This way, I can grow my audience and impart knowledge, which if you know me in my life outside of blogging: you know that part means a lot to me because of my academic background and training. Being able to impart knowledge about my condition becomes more important, daily, it seems.
Why you ask? More and more misinformation seems to be floating around about CP every day. This leads to people asking invasive, personal, questions that make me extremely uncomfortable when I am out of the confines of my apartment. It also leads to more comments, from strangers, when I am out of the comfort of my apartment, that make me furious. Those comments are so wrong they would be funny if I can ever find the humor in them.
My chosen family and I working on changing my perspective and having me use my platform to address them once I feel what I need to and calm down. I did address one of these comments, last week, in a video on this blog’s Instagram account. I have a feeling I will have reason to do more videos, like that, in the future unfortunately. Now, I understand if I do not speak up about misinformation, hurtful, wrong, comments about my condition I miss an opportunity to change the conversation around my condition and make the world a: better, more inclusive, equitable, kinder, loving place. I will take every opportunity presented to me to do that. It is part of my purpose, and part of the way I put my faith in action. As far as I am concerned loving my neighbor as myself includes teaching what clearly people do not know about CP, so they can make better choices with their words and actions going forward.