This entry has been edited down a bit from its original version and I've added some new stuff.
It's disability pride month! More specifically, this is the month that the Americans with Disabilities act was signed into law. Though that may be the impetus for this month, the actual thoughts behind it are a lot broader.
I don't really want to make a whole speech here about education or a positivity list because, frankly, other people have done that and it's really easy to find information educating about disability. Rather, I think I'll maybe talk about my personal... I don't know, disability philosophy?
I already talked about this in a previous diary entry. I've been disabled my whole life but exactly what that means to me and what that entails has changed. I've been autistic forever and had very obvious signs and symptoms. But conceptualizing of it as a disability didn't really happen until I started attending school. Then as I got older I started experiencing chronic illnesses but they were so mild it didn't matter. That is, until they did start to matter and they started getting way worse. My point being, I think a lot of able bodied people get really hung up, way too hung up, on the idea of disability as something variable. Bodies aren't static and can get both better and worse with time.
Even though I'm pretty out and straightforward about being disabled online, it's not really something I talk about much offline. I have a cane but I honestly get too scared to use it because people are kind of awful about disability. Disability is sort of an inverse for how I treat mental health. They're both stigmatized in a lot of the same ways. There's nothing anyone has said about my mental health that they haven't said about my physical disabilities. But I like to make my mental health issues more bold and even shocking, in a direct way, at times while I like to sort of soften things that are physical. I think it's that sometimes being disabled can actually be a bit scary. Getting tests done ranges from uncomfortable to extremely stressful. I want to make myself feel a bit better.
My point being, I have to roll with the punches a lot. In this initial entry I spoke a bit more about ableism from other people. I've cut that down in this edit, but that is a part of this too. People have told me my life is depressing for being disabled. "Rolling with the punches," does not entail being super happy go lucky and easy about everything. I'm often quite stressed about all this. But also, it is my life. My body is going to do things, I'm going to need to do stressful things, people will sometimes be awful, whether I like it or not. I can either accept that fully and work with it, try to offer myself as much comfort as I can both physically and mentally, or I can try to not be "depressing" and hurt myself just to appear more normal. I think there's a clearly better option here!