Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

I'm not being anti-social

29 Mar 2016When you have a disability getting involved in social gatherings or activities can be difficulty. When you turn down someone's invitation there are usually statements made, and questions asked about why you don't want to go.

It can't be that difficult, It can't hurt that much, It's not that far to walk.

Sometimes this culminates by being told to stop being anti-social. Simply telling me this isn't going to solve the problem though. Understand that we aren't being rude or don't want to spend time with you. It's just that the activity you've planned or the location you want to go to may not be suitable for us, and we're not sure if we want to take the risk. Unlike those without mobility problems I can't just go places. I have to ask myself a couple of question.

How will I get there and back again? How crowded will the location be? Will it be easy to move around? Will I have to do a lot of walking? Will I have enough energy? What if I hurt myself? Will people change venue half way through?

Some of these may seem trivial but they've all come from past experiences and problems I've encountered.

When I was younger I tried to keep up with people even if I didn't feel comfortable doing the particular activity. Over time I've realised though that I also need to look after myself. My last attempt at going bowling with friends taught me that lesson when I dislocated my knee for the umpteenth time. It made me realise it's not worth having an hour of fun if I end up hurting myself and can't walk for at least a week.

I'm glad my friends to continue to invite me to social events, even if I have to turn some of them down. That's what I hope people take away from this. Don't assume that just because someone with a disability doesn't want to go out that they are anti-social. I can only speak for myself but I think other would agree with me. I want to go out but sometimes it's just less of a hassle or safer to stay home.

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