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Defective and Proud of It

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

By Kelly Deeny

I’m defective. Or so I’ve been told. While the initial response may prompt hurt feelings and/or shock, I accept it as truth. I have a defect—one that I was born with.

The word "defect" tends to inspire negative connotations, as though there’s something lacking. Sometimes it’s physical. Other times emotional or even mental. You’re labeled as “less than” when, in fact, we all have something that can be improved upon. There are those who’ve battled addiction. Others who’ve struggled with challenging weight issues. What some would determine to be defects, I view as simply part of an individual journey. Their lives are their own to live. They have choices to make just as I do.

I own my defect—my congenital heart defect. Any other are of my own doing and up to me to resolve. So when someone dear to me joked that I was “defective,” I laughed along with him, because I acknowledge my differences. I embrace the scar down my chest or the pinky that has a shorter fingernail than all the rest. I do not view myself as any less equal or important than anyone else. At the same time I am not superior to others simply because I, as a heart patient, have encountered difficulties.

As I’ve mentioned in other blog entries, my prior experiences do not define me. Sure they have affected my path and the person I’ve become but that does not hold me back from improving and growing as an individual. I have much left to learn. I consider myself to be a “glass half full” person but in actuality the glass is closer to three-quarters than one-half.

If I did not believe I have issues that need resolving or aspects of myself that can be improved upon then I’d remain stagnant—frozen in thought and emotion, believing my circumstances could not be changed. Acknowledging my flaws and recognizing opportunities for change offers me the opportunity to look at not only myself but the world around me as full of promise.

I look different. My body’s shaped differently. I’ve had different experiences. Yet ultimately I am proud of the person I have become. I am not perfect and I DO NOT wish to be so. Really, what fun would that be?

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The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

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