If I don’t Succeed, I’ve failed

It seems like forever since I’ve written to you guys, because I wrote yesterday’s post on Tuesday, and posted it up here yesterday morning. It’s now Thursday evening, and so technically I’ve not written to you guys since Tuesday afternoon – too long a break, I feel.
Just a quick sidenote: is it just me who, when blogging, feels like they’re talking to a load of friends, like they’re telling a story when they write a post?
Because I do…

May I please just turn your attention to one quick thing before I get started on this post?
today, on Thursday 14 april 2016, this blog of mine reached the rather nice milestone of 250 followers. I mean, I now have 251, but let me just take this in. Over a quarter-of-a-thousand people across the GLOBE are reading what I, one individual, have to say. That is incredible. Seriously, I mean it. I’m literally crying right now because I love you guys so much and you seriously mean the world to me and just thank you thank you thank you.
Thank you for being you.
thank you for reading.
Thank you for helping.
Thank you for writing.
Thank you.

And now, onto what I want to talk about today.
For those of you who are new to reading my blog, first of all hello to you, and second of all, i’m blind. That’s just a little bit of information about me, but it’s relevant to today’s post.
Blindness is considered a disability – I have no eyesight, which I suppose technically is a disability: I’m not able to see. Personally, I don’t see [blind joke] myself as disabled, for the pure and simple reason that i’m perfectly able to do most things in life just fine, aside from the obvious, like driving on the road, or operating heavy machinery independently, although even these aren’t completely impossible. Regardless, according to society and to law, I’m disabled, no questions asked.
This perspective, however I choose to classify myself, gives me a lot of insight into the way that disabled people, particularly visually impaired people, are considered and treated within society today, and I feel that I’m in the perfect position to write about that from time to time: I feel it’s important that other people, especially the current generation of teenagers, can understand where this generation of adults, politicians and leading social figures have gone wrong, so that things can improve 10, 20, 30 years into the future.

and so, here is what I want to know: why is it, by being disabled, that if I don’t succeed with wild success, I am considered to have failed? Why is it that if a budding journalist who happens to be in a wheelchair doesn’t become world-famous, they, in society’s eyes, have failed? If that same budding journalist were to not be in a wheelchair and they became a reporter at the local newspaper, would they be seen as a failure? of course not: it’s still a good job – a fabulous job if it’s what that individual wants for themselves.

This ridiculous amount of pressure is not easy to deal with, let me tell you that. In my case, people expect me to be head and shoulders above everyone else in my sighted social group. I’m expected to do all these great things: achieve A* grades in exams, be talented at the arts, be a well-rounded person, and so on and so forth. If I’m not 100% brilliant at each and every one of these things, plus anything else that life throws my way, I will be considered to have failed.

So tell me, is this not wrong? Is it not wrong that i’m expected to be better than billions of other people, just because my eyes aren’t working? Is it not wrong that I’m put under pressure to be above everybody else, when I’m perfectly happy being on the same level as them?
I recognise personally that if I don’t meet these high expectations that I’m not a failure, and I can’t stress how much I mean this when I say that if you’re in similar circumstances to me in this situation, you should NEVER consider yourself a failure. they’re right when they say that failure isn’t an option, but they don’t realise it. Failure isn’t an option, not because it’s bad to fail, but because it’s impossible, because there is no such thing as failure: it’s called learning; it’s called experience; it’s called being human.
Although I recognise on a personal level that I’m not, and never will be, a failure, I’m aware that there are hundreds of thousands of social ‘underdogs’ who will let expectations and pressure get to them, and allow it to beat them down. Regardless, pressure isn’t right, even if you can shake It Off [TayTay reference]; it’s not fair, for want of a more expressive and emotive word.

On top of being put under extra, unnecessary pressure dueto having a disability, there is then the extra pressure. As if doing well isn’t enough to satiffy society’s expectations, there’s then the pressure to change things. However big-headed it sounds [and it really does], I’m doing reasonably well in school and in life, and I’m proud, and allowed to be proud, of that fact. But it’s at this point that the added expectations begin:
“You should stand up for disabled teenagers”…
“You should make your views more heard”…
“You should make yourself an example for younger disabled people to look up to”…
Again, ohis is all very big-headed, and self-complimentary, but it’w what people say to me on a not-so-irregular basis. In all seriousness, how much more can I do? How much further can they push me until I break? Because pressure breaks people you know; I know that first-hand.
And so, I can’t help but think that it’s no longer a game of if-things-get-too-much, but more of when-they-get-too-much.
so until then, I guess I’m playing a waiting game with my mental health.


29 thoughts on “If I don’t Succeed, I’ve failed

  1. Another awesome post L, I know how you feel as a fellow VI, and understand only too well the amount of pressure you are put under. If you ever want to talk about this further I am all ears. Also well done on your 250 followers!!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on 250 followers L, you deserve each and every one of them for being an awesome and supportive Blogger! Also a fantastic post as usual (I spend a minute trying to figure out how to write fantastic whoops) – although I’m not blind or visually impaired it must be like a balancing act trying to weigh out the pressure.
    (Also not sure if you’ve seen, but my blog url has changed to giftedwiththoughts.wordpress.com and currently none of my posts are appearing in anyone’s reader. Just a heads up until I get it fixed!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on 250 followers, that’s awesome! As to the pressure to succeed, I have never even thought about that perspective, but I it seems unfair. You can only be you, and if you are happy with your accomplishments, no matter the scale, then I would say you are successful. No one can live by another’s definitions. On the other side of the coin, it may just be that people believe you have a lot to offer, more than maybe even you realize? Just my $0.02 – hope I haven’t overstepped. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! It’s potentially a controversial perspective that I have written here, but it is my own, and that’s good enough for me. Perhaps you’re right, and even if you’re not, it will make me feel good about myself so we will go with it ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on 250 followers, L. You deserve them, of course. As always, this is such an inspiring post. Yes, I hate it when people expect others to be perfect in everything. I hate it when they compare. I hate it when they criticize instead of appreciating. You are awesome, L, ignore others. Your posts are one of my favourites- always.
    Have a good day! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 250 is great and you deserve this and much more L! I loved reading this because I think it’s really important that we people understand and respect each other in all the things we do and pressuring a person is in no way support.

    Liked by 1 person

    OH WOWW CONGRATULATIONS ON 250!! You’re deserve all of them and ten thousand more ;P
    I can’t express how well I understand your situation. I know that the judgements will be ten times more harsh for you and I’m sorry for that. I hope you know that WHEN you become a journalist, you’re going to be the best one out there. Remember, don’t let the talk get to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on hitting that 250 milestone – although since I’m 2 months late, I’m sure you’ve well passed that mark. ๐Ÿ™‚
    There shouldn’t be higher expectations for what society considers “disabled.” Everyone is human, and everyone makes mistakes. Just because it’s not extraordinary success does not mean it’s failure. I’m glad you don’t let the pressure ruin your life (to be honest, withstanding the pressure is more of an example for the “younger generations” than accomplishing something major). Keep doing what you’re doing, I’m sure you have a bright future ahead – and I’m not saying that because you’re so-called “disabled,” I’m saying that because you’re an amazing human being. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

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