One of my biggest passions in life is tea. I love collecting tea cups and tea pots. I display many of them in my dinning room. Each piece of the tea service has a story and evokes a loving memory of the person who gave it to me. I also have an overflowing cupboard of assorted teas in my kitchen. My husband and I like to drink tea together in the evenings. I also love having people over for tea parties. Ironically I didn’t like tea the first time I tried it. I can remember my mom having me try a cup of orange peacock black tea. I didn’t care for it and was convinced that I didn’t like tea. Little did I know that there were many other flavors. Another significant part of my life is having a Learning Disability. Much like my first encounter with tea, I didn’t like having one.
When I was first diagnosed with a Learning Disability I wanted to spit it out, but I couldn’t. The tea tasted bitter and stung my tongue. Everyone else seemed to enjoy their cups of tea. I thought that if I could just get rid of this cup, then everything would be perfect.
When I shared how I was struggling with my disability, I have had other people who tried to help me by adding sugar to my tea. People have told me not to complain because other people had it worse or that it wasn’t so bad. Too much sugar started to make my stomach sick and threated to rot me. Positive thinking wasn’t going to cure my disability and made me feel ashamed for expressing my feelings.
Adding too many lemons also soured my tea. Many people have felt sorry for me for having a disability. I have also spent time mourning over having one. I almost let the acid of the lemon corrode me.
Thankfully I found that there were many different types of tea. I can remember finding herbal teas and giving them a try. I found out that I really did love tea! I still love herbal teas, especially berry or mint green. I like to drink tea plain and let the natural flavors come through.
Socially I had to learn that I wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea Not everyone was going to like me and I would face rejection with my disability. I also had to learn that not everyone was going to be my cup of tea as well. I have also learned that other people like their tea differently. I have friends who will only drink black tea. Other friends like milk and sugar while other people don’t mind it plain.
I’ve learned to tolerate black tea if it is my only choice. Much like drinking black tea, I have learned to live with my disability. I found that the challenges it gave me didn’t break like a fragile tea cup. I was able to endure failures, disappointments and challenges. I didn’t get to chose my disability, but I can chose how to deal with it. I simply have to find new ways to do things and make the cup of tea my own.