I’m going to be honest with you guys. As I type this, I am really freaking annoyed and angry. I have been in bed for the last two and a half days. I was supposed to get up today and exercise but instead, I kept sleeping because I could barely move. For the last week and a half, I have been trying to write a very simple column for a girl I know and yet I can’t focus for more than five minutes on it. I don’t even remember the last time I was able to read more than a page without falling asleep. I have no idea how I’m focusing enough to write this. I think my entire energy is just fuelled off anger and a dash of glitter. Either way, here I am writing it.
To be honest, I think this side of having a disability is rarely talked about. People mostly like to speak on what we have achieved or how “inspirational” we are. Never our pitfalls It’s a tough one because a lot of people think that we as a community can’t do anything. When they learn we can do pretty much anything it’s like we can never have a bad day (or week). I’ve lost count of the number of times people close to me have accused me of faking my bad days. Like all of a sudden, my symptoms no longer occur just because I can hold a conversation and work hard.
All of that, of course, is why activism is still so needed. I get that there are 100s of causes to fight for nowadays. I know that many believe that we don’t need that many let alone another one. Heck, I have many people in my life who think that all this activism has already worked. They truly believe that we are all equal and these “extra” movements are unnecessary and pathetic. But the thing is, if I was working an average 9-5 job, I would have run out of sick days a long time ago; and probably have lost the job. I know that most people wouldn’t believe me when I have days off. The truth is, very few believe me now. Even more than that, this fictional 9-5 job is just that, fictional. Most disabled people have to create their own jobs because people won’t hire us. People see the wheelchair, the hearing aid, the guide dog and we’re automatically put in the “incapable” pile.
People need to start listening to us, they need to see us. The truth is, this community is amazing. We’re resourceful, passionate, intelligent, optimistic and sure-as-hell capable. But very few know this, very few see us, and that isn’t okay.
We are human, we are valuable, and we deserve to not be ignored, or treated as a second-class citizens. We deserve to be listened to and not be accused of “faking” or “exaggerating” all because someone doesn’t understand.
I realise that this post has been an entire rant and I apologise. I promise next week will be more fun!
Please look after yourself,