It’s perhaps not a surprise to anyone that knows me, that when I hear the phase “unique and common” my mind goes straight to the area of mental health.
At age 21 I was diagnosed with depression. Or, in official diagnostic language, a Major Depressive Episode. Or, in layman’s terms, “clinical depression”.
Once, when I was younger, I thought my name had been changed. I was always changing it anyway, almost every week I ended up naming myself after the latest music star, radio DJ – even after a member of the royal family, at one stage. But this name was different.
Most of the time, when we think of the world of TV, movies or fashion, we think of impossible beauty standards, mass-produced people who fit into a particular mold of looks that 99.9% of the rest of us simply don’t fit into to. But not model Madeline Stuart.
In this months guest blog, Philip Patston shares part one of a four part series on the diversity dilemmas that New Zealanders face in 2015. Disability awareness is slowly becoming more commonplace in workplaces around New Zealand, though it hasn’t really taken off like other diversity issues. You find it sometimes in community organisations, particularly disability…
One day as a young, hungry University student (well, hungry on this day anyway, as I’d forgotten my lunch), a young man happened to be selling sandwiches outside. I gratefully bought one and we got talking (he and I got talking that is, not me and the sandwich). He asked about my disability, and as I’m always open to sharing about Spina Bifida with the uninitiated, I was quite happy to explain. He was Christian and as I had similar faith, we “clicked”.
I went to a wedding of a family friend the other day. I don’t really have any regular contact with this person – I only see them once every few years at family gatherings – so I was a little surprised to be invited. However, I thought it was nice to be considered as weddings…
Growing up, the concept of bravery most often presented to me by my parents was the military kind. Dad, a WWII veteran awarded the military Medal for Bravery, was typically stoic about his wartime exploits. But Mum’s eyes would glow with pride when recounting the story as she knew it.