The Good Life: Eliza
One of the happiest moments of my life was when my first child Isobel was placed on my chest. She was crying, and as soon as I kissed her forehead, she stopped. It was such an incredible moment.
My journey to parenthood wasn’t straightforward. When I was five years old I started falling over. There were a lot of hospital visits, surgeries and operations. At different times during school, I was a wheelchair user. I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder called Charcot Marie Tooth. Which is a physical disability that causes nerve damage, weakness and difficulty walking.
When I went to my neurologist and said I wanted to start a family. I was really so excited. But I remember the moment he looked at me and said he didn’t think I should become a parent. I was just so shocked. And I believed him for a moment there. Luckily, I didn’t take his advice, because if I had done that, I wouldn’t have my two wonderful children.
I think there are a lot of assumptions around what disabled people can and can’t do. I used to hide that I was disabled, now I no longer hide. I really feel it’s important to be who I am. A good life to me is being authentic and speaking my truth.
I wish people knew that for a lot of people with disability, we wouldn’t change that we are disabled, it’s a part of our identity, and we are part of a connected community. I want people to know that it’s not the person that needs to change or be ‘fixed’, it’s society. We need to remove the barriers so that we can be included.
When my daughter was two years old she said to me “Mum, why do you walk like a penguin?” We had a laugh. I think for young children what better time to start having these conversations about disability. Which is where the idea for my children’s book was born.
‘Come Over To To My House’ is written from a child’s perspective inviting another child into their home to play. Inside the homes, you see people with various disabilities, those that you can see and those that you can’t. I wanted to show the similarities between us as people. That having a disability isn’t something to be feared but something that can be celebrated.
Eliza Hull is a proud disabled woman, musician, writer, advocate and mother of two. She is author of ‘Come Over To My House’ a beautiful childrens’ book all about inclusion. You can follow more of Eliza’s good life on Instagram.
In our social media series #StoriesOfTheGoodLife we explore what a good life means for people with disability. People from all walks of life, living rich, full and meaningful lives on their own terms.
Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.