life of a disabled person
There are, of course, a variety of disabilities that can affect anyone in many different ways. This experience is going to focus on my personal experiences with a mental illness, something I have grown accustomed to in the past three years.
I wake up in a panic at 8:30 AM. Today is no different from any other day when it comes to the potential events that lie ahead. I never know if I will be walking out of my house to go to work, only to find myself unable to move any further than the hallway because of a panic attack.
Typically, these attacks are rare in number and intensity, but what they lack in frequency and severity is made up for with poor judgment. I might end up walking around the block repeatedly because it temporarily makes me feel better, or I will call out from work and sit in my armchair with a mug of tea all day, knowing full well that this is one step closer to further damaging my mental health.
There’s a variety of different skills you pick up as a disabled person
Whether it be using your wheelchair to get around when you’re in a place that isn’t wheelchair-friendly (which is EVERYWHERE), getting yourself up and ready without the assistance of another person, or even learning how to make truly awful jokes.
I’m no stranger to bad humour; in fact, much of my day-to-day humour is centred around my disability. Much of my humour is self-deprecating, which might be why I have a hard time being taken seriously.
Every day that I leave the house without makeup on and a messy bun with clothes from the night before is a victory for me. It means that once again, I have made it out of the house without being hindered by my disability. I have other days where this isn’t the case – thankfully, these are few and far between.
Though I am disabled, it’s simply because of the medications I take to keep me stabilized. Getting out of bed is sometimes one of the most difficult tasks in my day-to-day life that I have to do, but I make it work somehow.
Disabled people are fighters – that’s something that doesn’t get talked about enough when you think of what the world sees when it looks at us in our chairs or in bed in the morning. We’re not always in pain, we’re not always uncomfortable in some way, though often I have to do, but I make it work somehow.
It’s 6 am. I wake up to use the bathroom, readying myself for 8 hours of sleep in a comfortably-padded bed.
As I get out of bed, my joints are foggy from disuse. When did it happen? How long have I been this way? My legs don’t work properly anymore; they’re completely numb from the knees down. If I don’t think about it too hard, I can pretend they’re still there, but my feet feel as if they’re a million miles away.
I manage to curl my toes and walk with a pronounced limp over the next floor of the house to find someone who will help me reach my destination. As Istumble into the kitchen, I’m met with a brusque “good morning” from my mother as she frantically prepares for work. She has never known me any other way so it’s no surprise that she could forget about all of this faster than I can brush my teeth.