Saturday, February 25, 2012

The 'What I Really Do Meme' for Chronic Illness

So I made this a couple weeks ago and thought I'd share it here.

I thought it was quite clever and feel it's quite true. So please share onwards!

I had the misfortune of introducing myself to a web-forum for people planning events and was told that it wasn't going to be ok for me to talk about 1) body size and issues with and 2) my illness, as it wasn't part of planning and it might make people feel bad.

I couldn't quite believe my eyes.

I honestly had to reread it about 5 times and catch my breath to reply properly.

People living with disability have a hard enough time coping with the reality of their 'new' lives without having to insulate the rest of society from some uncomfortable feelings.

Part of living and accepting life with disability is being able to talk about it. Like any other healing process, talking about it is vital. My illness isn't who I am, but it makes up a huge proportion of my life, so I talk about it. It's not pleasant for me either. But, it's not my job to make sure people don't have uncomfortable reactions to it.

That's part of being a mature and empathetic person. I live my life with concern and respect for others, and people with a disability expect you to do so in return. I didn't whack people with my crutch while using it, so don't whack me with your complete and utter disregard for my being.

Both my knees are sore today and I'm in a severe and grumpy mood. We have 4 days left of summer (a very wet and cold summer) and I am not excited about the prospect of 9 months of gloom heading my way. This email I received just topped off my approaching gloom.

*** Obviously we need more disability awareness. When did it become MY job to protect YOU from YOUR feelings about MY illness? ***