If you’re into movies, you’ve probably seen previews for the new film Me Before You. It has caught my attention particularly because so many people have told me about how the storyline reminds them of me; I guess primarily becuase one of the main characters in the movie uses a wheelchair to get around. Admittedly, before the movie was spoiled for me (and I’m not even mad about it), that is pretty much all I knew about it.
But the focus of this blog post isn’t the movie. The focus of this blog post is an article that a friend of mine wrote about it that really moved me. Her storytelling is strong and vulnerable and it makes me even more proud to call her a friend.
You can find it in the Huffington Post at this link, titled “Why It’s Worth Reconsidering Your Excitement for Me Before You.”
The most powerful line in Brittany’s essay, in my opinion, is the final one: Life isn’t always easy, but it’s certainly worth living. Check out the essay and, really, reconsider your excitement before engaging in the stigma that can come from these kinds of depictions of disability, mental illness, etc. in the media. Simply put: I think Brittany makes a spot-on point.
The author, Brittany M., is a friend, a warrior, a champion, and an advocate. I knew that from the first few moments of reading a description about her online (I know, creepy, right?). She is also founder of an amazing social enterprise known as AbleThrive, which can best be described as curated disability content from people, organizations and hospitals all over the world. It’s all about helping folks with disability, newly gained or common place, thrive in their lives. AbleThrive is the go-to platform for people with disabilities.
To elaborate though, we were both being honored with the Dewey Winburne Community Service award and when I got an e-mail about the other honorees I noticed that she also worked heavily in the disability space. I immediately reached out to her and months later when she was visiting D.C., we got crepes together and she was my 1 new person that day. Then we also connected further in Austin and we’ve been connected ever since. I’ve talked about him before on the blog but he’s an important man that I’ve never met – so please be willing to learn more about Dewey in the video below, too.