How to mask your disability, a step-by-step guide

Learning how to change your disabled self into your acceptable self.

Art by Gwen.

Many people with a disability are looking for the day where they can walk down the street confidently, talk to people, and live a normal life. Well you’re in luck, I bring to you today a step-by-step guide on how to mask your disability, because no one wants to see that or know that. Follow this guide and you will have everyone saying: “Oh I didn’t know you had [insert disability]”.

Please note that before you start that you should have a socio-psychological disability, as you can hide that lickity split, if you have a physical one then enjoy being stared at for the rest of your life, as well as the unwanted ‘sympathy’ and jokes.

This guide will help you hide your autism, ADHD, or any other mental disability you may have, because if an able-bodied person can’t see your disability then you must not have one. Masking is almost as good as removing your disability entirely.

1. Be yourself

Just remember to be yourself, you shouldn’t have to change yourself to fit into society’s boxes. Your disability is just a label and it shouldn’t define who you are or what you can do. You can do anything you want to.

2. Learn you are wrong

So you’ve started to act like yourself, you have said and moved how you felt and expressed who you are, but you shouldn’t have done that one particular action. Maybe when you were young these actions caused others to yell at you, or even when you were older you didn’t understand the hint to shut up or speak. You now know that.

3. Take the advice

You take the advice that has been given to you, and start to cut away those weird habits. You stop fidgeting, you shut up and stop socialising to avoid the stigma. Sometimes you’ll forget you’re not meant to speak, and you only realise when people have started staring at you. So you start to take the advice and you start to change yourself, cutting and caring for your own statue so you can be presentable in the museum of socialising.

4. Question everything

You start to question everything about you, how you talk, how you laugh, and even how you walk. You have to change everything about you, testing the waters more and more until people start to accept you. If you slip up and forget how you should be laughing or walking people will notice, at best you will get side eyes, at worst they will open their mouths.

5. Forget who you are

Now that you don’t know if you are right, your ego is gone and confidence destroyed. You have developed new habits and have hidden who you are, you have hidden yourself so hard you forget who you are.

6. Be yourself

Don’t forget that now you have changed everything about you, you need to be yourself. People will just tell you to be yourself, but you know they mean be the non-disabled you. They will still tell you to be yourself. So just be yourself.

7. You’re one of the normal ones

Now with all of this work, you should feel proud. Everyone will start saying: “You are one of the normal ones”. You have scraped, moulded, and shaped yourself into an acceptable you: you now fit into the door society gives you. 

Congratulations, you have successfully masked away everything. You are now normal, you are now acceptable, but you still aren’t perfect. People like you, but not the disabled you. You don’t let anyone see you unmasked.