Anyway, back to those uneasy feelings. It's one thing to put my feelings here, which is something I'll never stop doing, but it's quite another to send your thoughts and story out into the world without knowing how they'll be received.
Thankfully, there were only a few nasty comments about my essay (tip: Reading Facebook comments is never a good idea), but what really touched me were the emails I received from readers. Many wrote to say that they could identify with my story. I've always felt so different because of my disability, so to hear that maybe I'm not so different after all was such a joy. I asked a few readers if I could share their words, and they were game! Here are their inspiring words...
--"It was really inspiring to read your article on Cosmo. I have a brother with a disability who often thinks the exact same thing. He is amazing and I'm sure that you are too! Your disability doesn't make you imperfect; if anything, it makes people even more beautiful! I just wanted to thank you for telling your story because it was really special to hear! I know that it can be really hard not to listen to the voice in your head, but please don't because I know you have inspired so many people and that a physical disability will never make somebody not beautiful!"
--"I just wanted to tell you that your article on cosmopolitan.com was amazing. I don't have a disability, but I'm overweight and wanting to be loved by others has been a lifelong battle for me. I think your beauty is something you should be proud of. You're beautiful inside and out. I hope you find someone who enhances all the great qualities you have. You are such an amazing, inspiring and beautiful person. Thank you for sharing your story."
--"I am so proud of you. Even before you wrote for Cosmo, I was going to write you and tell you that you were doing so great. I know it is not easy being disabled; in fact, it's a hard fact but should not be used to define us. We are proud women and proud women stand up and take the challenge. It's not the hand that was dealt to us, but what we do with it that matters. A lot. All this crap about leaving the house and finding a man is just so many bubbles in the wind. You would make ANY man proud. You are honest with your feelings and know yourself, and not many women can say that. You hug yourself because if I were there, I would be hugging you!"
Thank you, everyone!! I just felt like giving the world a gigantic fist pump after reading their messages; I even saved them for those days when Anonymous decides to make his next appearance.
What's on your mind these days, friends? Happy? Sad? Stressed? All of the above? You know my inbox is always open, so email me sometime! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and let's chat, OK? LOVE YOU ALL... xoxo
[Photo via We Heart It]