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Day 4 of 30 Days of MD Topic: Self Confidence and DMD This is Milan Patel’s story: Growing up with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, I was often self-conscious, especially after I started using a wheelchair. I would never be able to have fun when out in public because I was worried about what people thought about me. Living with a disability causes you to see how much people stare when you look different. It was hard to deal with people staring because I knew why they were staring. That made it difficult at times for me to talk to strangers and even make new friends when I was still in high school, because I kept thinking about what they thought of me and if they were just talking to me to be nice. I think that really held me back as a teenager because I was quite timid around other students, even ones I knew. As I got older, I started getting in contact with more people with MD and started realizing how much some of these people were thriving. That made me realize how much I was missing out on because of being too self-conscious. Slowly, I started to be more confident because I came to the realization that I can’t stop people from staring because it’s human nature. So why should I be so worried? What really helped me with that was that I started public speaking once in a while and started a YouTube channel. When I started public speaking, I slowly stopped being nervous when talking to new people because people were genuinely interested in what I had to say. The way I started looking at it was that people stare because they think I’m not “normal” but the reality is there is no such thing as “normal”. Everyone has something different about them. I still have confidence issues sometimes, but not as much as I used to. I really enjoy public speaking now, and looking back, 16 year old me would not even have thought of having the confidence for that. I even just started a Podcast on my YouTube channel called Convos With Milan which is also something I never thought I’d have the confidence to do. #MDAwarenessMonth #MDAwareness #30DaysofMD
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