I'm always fascinated to hear stories of people living with Brachial Plexus Injury / Erb's Palsy. I have found that many of us share a similar outlook on life. We have a sense of determination and we find ways to adapt to each situation. Today's blog is written by John who was kind enough tto share his story.
My name is John Jackson, 32, and was born with Erbs Palsy in my left arm. It’s hard to explain life with BPI to someone without it, as we have no reference point to compare with. Growing up with BPI is hard, and you will notice the way you are seen and perceived by others. As you grow up you are aware of more situations where you must use your left arm and the anxiety kicks in. Having your photo taken, heading to a gig, being asked to dance, seeing your partners panicked look when they hand you their baby, competing in sport. Was it something I did, or something to do with the disability? You are left always feeling an outsider.
Make it your superpower.
I’ve researched so many topics from philosophy to quantum physics looking for solutions, information, and views. Having #erbspalsy forces you as a child to look at every situation differently to anyone else. Most people can look at others and copy how they do things, but we are forced to find a solution and usually quickly. Also, you are used to trying twice as hard to be half as good.
As you get older your problem solving skills simply surpass most people as you are able to see a situation for what it is, you are able to remove how others have completed the task before you and see the best way of doing things. It becomes nature to solve problems like this and it’s what’s helped me have a career in the IT Industry. Problem solving daily comes as easy as breathing air.
"The community was accepting, inclusive, no-one was aware of other disabilities and it allowed me to be on the same playing field as others"
With great power…
The thing to watch out for is you get to a point where you realise there isn’t much you can’t do and lose the need for others in your life. That’s where your weakness comes in. Most people are a little broken, but the imperfections are what bring us joy, happiness, anger, sadness etc.
Finding your own path
I was an active child, while having Erb's Palsy having a father into sport. I played rugby, football, cricket, pool, darts, hell I played anything, but I was never competitive to a high level.
About the age of 13 I found competitive gaming (esports). Playing online computer gamers against others. The community was accepting, inclusive, no-one was aware of other disabilities and it allowed me to be on the same playing field as others. Over the years I have played several games across several teams. It’s allowed me to make so many friends from all over the world and met up with on numerous occasions. While I still do sport and love the outdoors, my competitive side is always on the computer.
Among other organisations, In the past two years I have created the biggest esports organisation in Wales, an organisation that is fair, inclusive and accepting to all, an organisation that will support people from all areas of life and give them the opportunities to grow and find themselves like I have.
Without Erbs Palsy I would never have created this, I would never have been able to see that gap in the world.
Follow John on Instagram @johnjackson750
Thanks for reading
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