Something is off about me.
For the first few years of my recovery, I was clearly damaged. Upon encountering me, strangers would correctly assume that I had sustained an injury and would approach me with sympathy, compassion, and unfortunately pitty. But the bottom line is that I would be approached with kindness. People tended to jump at the chance to be helpful to an obviously disabled young man.
As I recovered more and more, I crossed a threshold where I no longer appeared to be clearly damaged. I had reached my goal! I am no longer pitied or perceived as someone who needs the assistance of others.
Am I treated like everyone else?… Almost and not at all.