Hiding My Disability
Social media is such a part of our everyday lives, we go to sleep at night scrolling through Instagram and seeing what’s trending on Twitter. For many of us the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning is grab our phones to see what we missed in the “internet world” during those 8 hours we were sleeping. Now, trust me I’m not bashing the internet or social media world. I happen to love that world, but sometimes society has a lot to say in that world. You scroll around and we’re so quick to judge people and assume how perfect someone’s life may be, how skinny someone is, how beautiful they are or how successful they may be. You very rarely see someone's struggles. It’s so easy to hide your life and struggles in a picture, so most people do. I always thought that was wrong because living with a disability I always felt like I had to hide that fact about me, even though it was clearly obvious when I would walk, it wasn’t so obvious in pictures. So I never shared my struggles or hard days, just like most people only share their success.
When I came across Yoocan it was almost a whole new world in the internet world that I wasn’t used to seeing but I was definitely intrigued because when I came across Yoocan it was around the same time I decided to finally start Eyeliner & Empowerment, my YouTube channel and blog about living life with Cerebral Palsy. I looked around on their Instagram and saw all these amazing people sharing their own story around the world about their life with their disability. I think I spent an hour scrolling down on their Instagram reading all of these amazing stories, and also learning about different disabilities, so I decided to submit my own and share why I decided to start my blog.
Growing Up With Cerebral Palsy
"Hi, I'm Jessica and I have a disability... Cerebral Palsy to be exact. You can't exactly hide the fact that you have CP. It's there and it's for the world to see. It took me years to be okay with having a disability, I never admitted it to myself or anyone else. If someone asked why I walked with a limp, I would brush it off and answer with a simple "I was born like this" and then walk away feeling ashamed and embarrassed. I always wanted it to just go away, so bad that I would have dreams at night of me walking "normal". Even though I have a big Italian family and a ton of friends I always felt so alone, I felt like no one truly understood my disability. It was after a horrible breakup when I realized that I had to accept who I was and love myself for every little "flaw" that makes me who I am. I had to change my mindset to think positive, and once I did my life changed for the better. Shortly after I met my fiancé who supported my dream and gave me the push to help as many people with CP as I could.
I recently put my heart and soul into creating a blog called Eyeliner and Empowerment and a YouTube channel called Jessica Marie. I've been sharing stories and tips and tricks on how to live a positive life with Cerebral Palsy. I have now decided to dedicate my life to helping people know that they aren't alone, and that so many people understand what you’re going through."
The yoocan Community Welcomes & Supports You
It was after they uploaded my entry I noticed what an amazing community Yoocan was. I was getting beautiful messages and supportive comments. I remember years ago when I had no friends with disabilities and I felt so alone and Yoocan makes you feel so welcomed and part of a community and it’s so wonderful because you realize you are not the only one out there who is going through something and you have these people who you might never get the chance to meet helping you through it and cheering you on. Besides their amazing Instagram, Yoocan has took many chances on me. They asked me to be their first Instagram Live Story Takeover where I was able to film myself throughout the day and show people what it’s like living with my disability and also to do one of their Empowerment Talks where I was able to discuss Dating with Cerebral Palsy and answer questions on a web chat with other people with from the community.