be kind

‘They wipe away tears on the tough days, they laugh with them on the good days. They build a confidence in our children we could not do ourselves.’: Mom thanks special needs teachers for their hard work, ‘They don’t get enough credit’

“I will never forget that first day having to leave him. I came home and cried because I was afraid he wouldn’t be understood. But he came out full of smiles and handed me a picture. One I knew he couldn’t have done by himself. He’d done it with his special needs assistant. I will always remember she said to me, ‘Mom, we did it together. And he chose red. I think it may be his color.’ And she was right. It still is.”

‘I was typing on a friend’s Facebook, ‘You’re so P-R-E-T…’ when I realized I was part of the problem. When did ‘pretty’ become the best compliment I could give?’: Woman urges ‘remind your friend she’s bold, brave, and inspiring’

“At one point, we were little girls dreaming of the day when we would be smart, successful, bold, brave, and strong. We would become doctors and lawyers and presidents. Then, the world told us what really matters most for girls: how we look.”

‘No shoes, I ran through the security gate, tripping as I searched for the family. ‘You did an amazing job, dude.’ It was like we’d known each other for years.’: Mom to son with autism urges ‘look for your people’

“I saw him from afar, pacing. He was looking down, fiddling with his hands. Like my Cooper does. He had bright yellow noise canceling headphones on. He stood out. I immediately smiled. I was in awe. The young man waited, every few seconds trying to step forward. ‘Please be kind,’ I thought. I was actually holding my breath for him.”

‘Lindsey, you have a problem.’ I shuddered in fear. I was lying on the bathroom floor. ‘No, no, no. Not again. Is this really happening?’: Woman 401 days sober after grueling addiction to alcohol, ‘I promise you, life gets easier’

“The night before, on my 21st birthday, I participated in an escapade that led my boyfriend and I into a terrible fight at a country club. The cops had to break us up. Nobody knew I’d spent hours in a holding cell after being arrested. Or that I’d blacked out on the highway and cheated on a few of my boyfriends. Or even that I’d drink a bottle of wine after my nursing shifts and show up to work hungover, my patients’ lives in my hands. I didn’t want to believe I had a problem.”

‘We arrived at the checkout. I’d left my wallet in the truck. In my rush, my daughter tripped and skinned her knee as we raced out the door.’: Mom says ‘our children repeat what they hear’

“I apologized and raced out of the store to get my bank card. In my rush, my daughter tripped and skinned her knee. She cried as I scooped her up. I tried to comfort her while drowning in shame. We discovered that the baggers had unloaded our entire cart. His response brought tears to my eyes. It had been an evening fraught with failure.”

‘I’d been holding back tears all morning. In public, they fell out. A sweet friend saw me go down. She was behind me in seconds.’: Widow urges people to talk about mental health and be ok showing grief in public

“She comforted me while I fell apart. And then, it happened. What always happens when I let anyone see any emotion other than ‘ok’: I got irrationally mad at myself for crying in public. Losing my husband and becoming the soul provider for our daughter has sent me into a deep panic.”

‘I went on countless job interviews, but I didn’t ‘look the part.’ The second they saw me, the whole vibe changed.’: Woman with Nemaline Rod Myopathy embraces disability, ‘I want to be seen for the smart, fun, boss babe that I am’

“After graduation, I was excited to take on the world! That feeling quickly died. Every employer assumed I wasn’t qualified. I didn’t have a specific ‘look,’ or I didn’t fit the part. I realized I didn’t want to work someplace where I would be judged by the way I look, not by the work I contribute. Appearances matter, but they matter even more when you’re disabled. And the hardest part about being disabled isn’t being disabled. It’s fighting to be seen as an equal.”

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