Be Yourself

DISABILITY AND NATURISM

Hello, my name is David, after my FB New Years post I was asked to write a blog. I’m not much of a writer but I’ll try to explain a bit about what being a naturist means to me from the perspective of a person with a disability.

Firstly, as a healthy teenager everyone thought I had great confidence but behind it all I was shy and had no body confidence at all. I had not been a fan of clothes and sometimes I used to go into the quieter part of the countryside and ditch the clothes to just spend time in nature alone because of my lack of confidence.

I’m now in my late 40s, I received a spinal cord injury when I was 20 and since then I am a full-time wheelchair user. I’m sure when some people look at me they see a man in a wheelchair and automatically think that being in the wheelchair is the tough part.

Being confined in a wheelchair where steps, stairs, sand and the likes are huge obstacles and do form major physical challenges but it’s the medical aspects that create the most difficulties, both physically and everything combined can cause severe mental challenges.

Sometimes we need to face our mental challenges before we can deal with the physical ones and naturism helps me break through my physical and mental insecurities and at last I can be myself and be completely happy and comfortable with no need for the fake smiles.

I think some people can turn to alcohol or religion to deal with certain life events, I used alcohol for years to numb the pain and feelings after the accident but when suddenly someone very close to me passed away, it brought me to new levels that drink or religion could not reach.

After the initial months and years had passed I began to think about life and how unpredictable and short it can be, I thought of the wasted years of worry about things that were now insignificant and eventually it let me to a friend I met on FB and to the INA and finally a meet up in Ballinasloe to be in the company of other naturists. The people were so welcoming and made me feel 100% comfortable.

Life finally became like living again. I was completely comfortable with being myself and comfortable in the company of others. It felt like being back as a kid again with no regrets of the past or thoughts of the future, no fake smiles to pretend everything is OK, it’s me completely comfortable, forgetting about the chair and all that it brings with it and I feel much better when people can see the true happiness it brings me because for once they see the true happy me.

I suffered from depression for a long number of years, I haven’t had a cigarette for something like 16 years, no alcohol in almost 10 years and no antidepressants in 6/7 years. I’m not saying that I don’t suffer from time to time from depressions, pain, insecurities but naturism helps ground me and realise what the important things are in my world.

I highly recommend for anyone, especially a person with a disability or someone who feels that life is getting on top of them at times to give it a try, just go for it.

Try naturism alone, with a friend or someone trustworthy but don’t hide behind your clothes if it’s something you want to try.

Try not to spend as long as me thinking and wondering… just do it and you will never look back. As the saying goes, “we’ve got one shot at this Life, so Live It”. I’m uncomfortable being in the swimming pool, a lot of friends of mine hate being in a swimming pool too, it’s not just from a disability point of view, but hopefully it will be ok to go to Ballinasloe and places without going into the pool and instead just chat and make friends with the people there. The self-confidence and self-acceptance of my disability that I have gotten from the experience feels like a continuation, if not an actual result of life coaching classes I partook years ago.

To me, being a naturist takes the control away from my disability and instead it gives me the choice and lets me take my life back. One of the things I’m finding difficult through covid and lockdowns is being cut off from people, I love contact with people especially other nudists so if you see me around please feel free to say ‘hello’ and if it’s on the street or in a shop we bump into each other, mention the INA and it will help me know we are friends.

Being a naturist in the northwest of Ireland can be lonely as well as cold. Usually I am very private about myself but when sharing my experiences can help anyone I am always glad to do so. I hope that this blog can help even just one person to get the courage to live a life that you enjoy, it might not be a perfect life, if a perfect life even exists, but we have the power to hopefully add some joy to it, let free of the small meaningless things and smile with a smile that is being true to ourselves.

A course I assisted with years ago was called “Be Yourself”. There’s a world full of people out there, we are each individuals, try to live a live that makes you feel happy and be proud to be yourself.

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and safe passage through 2021, make it the best it can be, live and enjoy your life as fully as possible and feel free to get in touch.

14 thoughts on “Be Yourself

  1. Wheeliebug says:

    Fantastic article David, I am new to naturism and have been in a wheelchair from a very young age, it would be nice to also know your experiences regarding naturist holidays and if you have found any wheelchair friendly places

  2. Tim Wyatt says:

    Well done David !
    Good to see a healthy and handsome guy like you bearing all and the flag for naturism .I wish I was as confident as you , I am a repressed naturist . I am a gay man living in Cornwall , I do go to naturist beaches but it’s very much like confronting my fears ,
    I have always been embarrassed about the size of my penis .
    But every time I go I feel a bit better about getting naked in public .
    Just wanted to say well done anyway

    • David says:

      Thanks Tim, sometimes I think confidence is an illusion, we need to be who we are for the short time we’re here. My girlfriend thinks I’m mad especially in the weather we get but being yourself is great for a healthy, content mind. Keep well

  3. David says:

    Thank you for your comment. With naturist holidays, I’ve usually just been lucky to have a quiet balcony, naturist areas are usually inaccessible. Once we get travelling again we’ll make up for lost time. Feel free to contact me at daveirish16@gmail.com if you want to keep in touch

    • Wheeliebug says:

      Hi David

      I thought that I should share some info with you as it took me a while to find accessible naturist holidays but here are a couple,

      The first one is a large naturist hotel called Vera Playa Club Hotel in Almeria Spain that overlooks a naturist beach and also just outside has a few shops which you are also allowed to be clothes free, this was the first one I went to and everyone is very nice there, wheelchair access to everything with 4 lifts in the building.

      https://www.playasenator.com/en/hotels/vera-playa-club-hotel/photographs/

      The second one I went to is a massive naturist complex in Croatia called Valalta, if you click on the link below there is a promo video to show you what its like, its my favourite so far.
      LET THE VIDEO RUN FOR A WHILE AS IT SEEMS TO FINISH BUT IF YOU WAIT IT SHOWS YOU ANOTHER FEW MINS!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMhc9Z8nB1w

  4. Wheeliebug says:

    Hi David

    I thought that I should share some info with you as it took me a while
    to find accessible naturist holidays but here are a couple,

    The first one is a large naturist hotel called Vera Playa Club Hotel in
    Almeria Spain that overlooks a naturist beach and also just outside has
    a few shops which you are also allowed to be clothes free, this was the
    first one I went to and everyone is very nice there, wheelchair access
    to everything with 4 lifts in the building.

    https://www.playasenator.com/en/hotels/vera-playa-club-hotel/photographs/

    The second one I went to is a massive naturist complex in Croatia called
    Valalta, if you click on the link below there is a promo video to show
    you what its like.
    (let the video keep running as it looks like it ends, but if you leave it on it continues and shows you more) 5mins

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMhc9Z8nB1w

    cheers
    Wheeliebug

  5. Colin Tierney says:

    Hi David, I do remember you at Ballinasloe. For someone who says that you are not ‘much of a writer’ you have written a great and beautiful piece. Keep well and hopefully we will see you again at some stage in Ballinasloe, even if only for the chat.

    • David says:

      Thank you Colin, hopefully the days will come soon when we can get back to Ballinasloe. It was great to meet you all there, keep safe and see you soon

    • Leana Trulsen says:

      This is such a great article. I’m a naturist at heart and am trying to find the courage to go to a family naturist park, husband feels a bit strange about it. It’s just natural to me to be naked.
      This gives me strength to just go ahead and make it happen. I’ve gone topless on the beach and it’s very awkward (here in Canada it’s legal), moms taking their kids far away from where my spot is…men gawking and staring. I just want to go to a place where I feel welcome being naked with my large, curvy female body.
      Thank you for the inspiration and good for you for experiencing your dreams!

      • David says:

        Thank you for your comments Leana, good for you, just go for it, it’s been a couple of years since we’ve been on a beach with sun and heat and I’ve not had the courage in the past but here’s hoping I won’t care the next time. I think we feel we’re being noticed alot more than we actually are, most people just don’t pass any heed. Life’s too short for uncomfortable clothes in good weather☀️ time to live a happier, more fulfilled life ?

  6. Pat O'Neill says:

    Fantastic article, David! As someone who has a disability, I agree totally with all that you have written. I think you have the perfect motto when you say “We’ve got one shot at this Life, so Live It” Wishing you all the very best for the future

    • David says:

      Thank you Pat, disability shouldn’t hold anyone back from being anything we want, I think we hold ourselves back when we should just live and enjoy life. I wish you all the best too. Be yourself!

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