Being a burn survivor is often shadowed by a huge negative cloud. Being a burn survivor is a tough and tackling journey. The journey to recovery can get rocky, some more than others.

In the first few years of sustaining a burn injury, trying to see some ‘advantages’ of being a burn survivor may seem impossible. As time goes on and as your burn scars start to heal, many survivors see many positive traits of having burn scars.

Here are the top ten advantages of being a burn survivor:

1. People recognise us first.

This may be uncomfortable for some, but being recognised first can work to our advantage. Everyone wants to talk to the burn survivor and listen to their story of bravery. It’s other people’s curiosity that allows us to meet more people and have more opportunities than most.

2. People remember us.

Have you ever been told that you need to stand out from the crowd? Being a burn survivor is our calling card. It makes us unique and people are more likely to remember that survivor with the amputated leg, finger or ear. Being plain ordinary is boring, right?

3. Finding our own adaptations easier.

Many burn survivors, especially with amputations, find some daily activities easier than they used to. It’s interesting how some of our bizarre adaptations come naturally to us. My best adaptations would include that of applying my concealer with my finger stub. It’s the perfect sponge..

4. Receiving ‘special treatment.’

When you get noticed amongst the crowd, who knows what could happen? This is when people make conversation with you and offer some sort of deal, whether that’s a date, a job opportunity or a free burger from McDonalds. People see that we, as burn survivors, have a hard time and they genuinely want to make our day that little bit brighter….

5. The heart-warming feeling when we meet another survivor.

There’s no better feeling than meeting another burn survivor. It’s a bond like no other. It truly does feel like we’re part of a family. We’re not related by blood, but by the skin.

6. We have a story to tell.

No one wants to be that person who has nothing to say when someone asks, “So, tell me more about yourself.” Everyone loves listening to someone’s survivor story. Even as a burn survivor, we enjoy listening to other stories. Burn survivors know that a burn story is so long and interesting to tell. We’re like.. superhumans.

7. We radiate inspiration.

We survivors have the ability to inspire others. Every survivor has been told how brave we are and we’ve all had that one person say “whoa!” with their mouth wide open. People store our stories and use them as sources of inspiration – “if they can do it, then so can I.”

8. Taking up every opportunity.

Burn survivors live for the moment. We seize every opportunity. Knowing how quickly one’s life could change makes us want to grasp each opportunity with the hands or fingers or toes that we have. We nearly had our lives taken away once, so we like to make the most of our time. Want to go skydiving? Sure!

9. Proving people wrong.

One of the most frustrating things about having burns is that people downgrade our potential. For some reason, they automatically assume that we’re incapable of doing the many things that they do. Although often tiring, proving people wrong is a great feeling. Seeing people impressed by you and what you can achieve breaks down stereotypes. Just because someone has a physical disability, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are mentally or physically unable.

10. Appreciating our bodies.

Despite everything, our bodies have made it through. They never let us down. Some of us have had transfusions, amputations, blood poisoning, resuscitation and countless operations. Through it all, our bodies have made it through. It never lets us down. Our body is our temple.

11. Having the ability to turn something negative into a positive.

For some, it seems impossible to turn something so tragic into something so positive. Having no choice but to live with our scars forces us to find a way around it. We are solution makers. It allows us to have a strong mindset and it enables us to educate others. Without us, people would be unaware of the damages hot substances cause.

 

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