When Life With A Disability Is Lonely:

CW: Depression

I’ve been thinking about what makes me happy lately. I enjoy making other people happy. My own happiness however doesn’t matter as much. Bringing joy to others makes me happy.

My recent post about depression seemed to concern people. While I am struggling with depression right now, I don’t mind spending most of my time by myself. The past few years have meant that we’ve all had to spend time alone, sometimes going months without seeing friends and family.

Leaving my apartment for more than a few hours makes me anxious. Last fall, I enjoyed making apple cider at my friend’s house. It was a nice, quiet time. I prefer quieter activities. I don’t enjoy going to concerts, bars, or clubs. My friends and I take trips to Walmart occasionally. The three of us are happy there.

Growing up, I didn’t play on sports teams at school. Cerebral Palsy made me feel isolated from my peers. I didn’t get invited to parties on the weekend. The older I was the more I struggled to belong.

Before the pandemic, I had gathered with my friends to watch Super Bowl LIV. Looking back now, I wish I had stayed longer after the game was over. I had no way of knowing that I’d never see one of my friends in person after that night, because she abruptly ended our friendship on New Years Day 2021. I haven’t made another friend since, and I’m not sure I want to.

I’ve never had many friends, so I’ve learned to be happy alone. In the future, my career is going to be one where I can work independently or with a small group of coworkers. I’d like to become an author or journalist. Working as a disabled person is challenging enough.

Sometimes I wish I could make more friends. I am an introvert though, and that’s okay. Loneliness is common among people with disabilities. Make sure that we aren’t an afterthought in daily life.

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