There’re a few aspects of my identity I’ve been keeping under wraps. There’s a comfort in the anonymity of the Internet, and while it’s been kind of nice, I can’t put aside my identity. It’s hard to talk about social justice cutting out part of my voice.
I’m chronically ill. I can’t tell you what my health condition is just at present, because I’ve an expectation of being disbelieved and hurting for having opened up from long, long experience. It’s an invisible illness. It’s variable and evolving. It comes with an associated (secondary) condition that can go from mild to severe pretty quickly. My health took a further nosedive the better part of four years ago (has it been that long? How have I been through all this?).
Among other things, it affects my memory, concentration and ability to string a piece of writing/conversation/argument together. There are days I feel so stupid blogging. Sometimes I just can’t analyse, I can’t talk about my experiences. I’ll stare at an awful blank page and I. can’t. do it. I feel bad about it. I feel bad about writing, dragged down, because I’m surely wasting my time, there’s nothing, nothing of value I can do. Even writing this post, I’m thinking about my simplistic word choices and my internal voice says ‘there’s nothing good you can do in the blogosphere, Chally. Fade away…’
I’m struggling to blog, but I want to do this. I’m proud of what I’ve built up, I love the feedback, I love knowing that I’m developing my thinking and expression. I’m doing this in increments, I’m using whatever mechanisms I can to blog as much and as happily as I can. (For instance, often I’ll keep a few posts on hand in case I get into a bad patch and can’t write for a while.)
I’m over labels and management and bigots but I need to engage to survive.
For the next week, I’m going to blog about being disabled. These posts have been/are/will be hard to write and publish physically, mentally and emotionally. I’m not reworking my expression, not getting embarrassed, not legitimising it with quotes or links or references. Just typing. Just telling my story. I will not be silenced.
So, ta da! There I am. Disabled.