I can’t rely on my body to produce all the energy I want anymore, to do what I want anymore. I have to ration out time and energy and the capacity for certain things.
I no longer trust that people will stick by me when things get inconvenient, when being my friend gets messy; that I’ll get the support I need.
Those are two things I’ve lost.
I have a community. I don’t have to explain things to these people, I don’t have to get embarrassed, disabled people just get it. I belong a little more.
I have a framework to fit my experiences. It’s easier to not shame myself for not fitting someone else’s standard.
I’ve greater self-awareness. I have learned to respect my body and work to sustain it.
These are three things I’ve gained.