We have a special guest post from Thane Pullan this month. Thane is a software developer, author, and the main contributor at peoplewithdisabilities.com
Did you know people with disabilities are capable of debauchery and excessive behaviour? I don’t see this topic discussed openly very often, and I think this is a shame. My experience is that people with disabilities are primarily depicted as inspirational by the media. But we have problems, just like everybody else.
I have engaged in a bit of debauchery from time to time. At times I have drunk too much – many times to be honest. In the beginning I did this because I didn’t know what was considered too many drinks. People claim New Zealand has a binge drinking culture, but like anything else, I think there are variations on this. I get people who look at me in an extremely judgmental way after sculling a drink, though I do this to avoid bothering people every two minutes for a sip. On the other hand, I know people who who say throwing up, due to drinking, is just part of life.
The sculling part might indicate to others that me being unconventionally abled (as I like to call myself) is a negative consequence of my disability. However, from my point of view it also has a positive impact. I have come to the conclusion that for me, it is more difficult to get addicted to substances as I would have to rely on other people to give me the substance.For example, I would have difficulty smoking as someone else would have to hold a cigarette to my lips every hour for five minutes; I am not a people-person and would find that annoying. Drinking a lot is a bit easier, and occasionally I have managed this, but going to the toilet often is, again, really annoying. For me, in terms of substance use,he costs outweigh the benefits of engaging in these activities often.
The same can be said for sex, which I consider the primary drawback of being unconventionally abled. I can’t just go to a club and find a guy. I cannot even go on Grindr since I don’t have an Android or iPhone. Even if I did, from my experience, the pool of willing participants is incredibly small.I also don’t communicate well; I am overly blunt with people due to having to communicate slowly. Some guys don’t really respond well to my immediate thoughts but most of the rejection happens before this is an issue.
Infrequent opportunities are a good way not to start addictions and that’s probably a good thing for me, since sometimes I feel like I have more of an addictive personality. I could be wrong about this, but I do not want to be tempted.
Some people find it easy to use drugs and alcohol to escape their problems, I have done this myself at times. For me, I think that finding out what is causing the problems is a better approach, especially if the behaviour is recurring. Having said that, It is difficult to try and solve issues if nobody is paying attention to them. In my opinion the media could do more to highlight the real problems disabled people experience instead of only covering inspirational stories. Perhaps more people could share their experiences so people can see that we are not here to provide inspiration, but we are complex human beings – just like everyone else.