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  • Columnist Writes About How SMA Defines Her

    Posted by alyssa-silva on June 30, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Hey all. In my latest column, I wrote about a topic that is often discussed in the disability community and has varying opinions: does your disability define you?

    I won’t rewrite the entire column here, but the TLDR version of what I wrote basically explains how I look at SMA as something that defines me, and that’s okay. SMA has a heavy influence on my day-to-day life and has also shaped me into the person I am today. I’ve worked hard for the person I’ve become, and it would be remiss of me to ignore the fact that SMA has played a role. It has defined me, but it isn’t the only influence that has defined me.

    What are your thoughts on this topic?

    alyssa-silva replied 2 years, 8 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • mike-huddleston

    July 1, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    Hey Alyssa –

    I did, in fact, read your column.  And I enjoyed it. I left a comment, but it’s not available for me to retrieve and post here.  Basically, I understand where you’re coming from.  I think it’s mostly semantics.  Most people use the phrase “define you” as a more comprehensive, denotative meaning.  Your use of it, at least as I understand it, is more connotative.  Of course SMA is part of you you are, it’s not all you are.  So although it does shape you and has been such a main part of helping you become the person you are today (and for whom we are thankful!), you are so much more.  You can define yourself any way that you’re comfortable with. My main thought would be that’s fine, as long as others don’t define you in that limited way – or you don’t allow others to define you that way.

    • alyssa-silva

      July 2, 2021 at 4:28 pm

      Yes, very true. Personally, I see it as the word can take on several different meanings, so I guess it depends on how it is interpreted and the subject’s personal preference. So, to go off what you said, yes. I approached the phrase with a more connotative meaning. I’m curious if others feel differently (which is more than ok). Thank you for weighing in, Mike.

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