I’m not broken (Findings, part II)

“I try not to identify with having a disability,” Richard tells me.  He looks at me for a response, raises his eyebrows.

I fight my instinct to give an academic answer encompassing the various levels of disability.

“Sure,” I concede.

Richard continues:

“I don’t want to see myself as broken, just different than I used to be.  Just because I have a walker doesn’t mean I have a disability… A disability gets you treated very differently, and I don’t want that.

“I want people to know I’m the same person I’ve always been… I’m injured, not disabled.”

My feeling is, brain injury changes us. For better, for worse, there’s no going back to living without it in our lives.

So if that’s true (and I’m pretty sure it is, because no such thing as time travel – yet), my question to you all is this: how does the “disability” label make you different than “injury,” like Richard suggests?

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