Am I Disabled?

Am I Disabled?

Being able-bodied and minded is something I think most of us take for granted until it impacts us in some way. I’ll admit it wasn’t something I thought much about myself until my accident. There’s a grey area though when your life changes in a physical or mental way that – at what point are you disabled? Who decides?

I (wrongly) thought that you had to be recieving some kind of disability assistance to be classed as disabled, however Citizens Advice states that:

“The definition is set out in section 6 of the Equality Act 2010. It says you’re disabled if:

  • you have a physical or mental impairment
  • that impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities

I have a long term condition that impacts most of my life. At my worst I struggle to move, to walk, have bad fatigue and am in so much pain I can’t concentrate on anything else. I’m not looking for sympathy that’s just the way it is sometimes. It meant I had to change a lot of things and reconsider how I was going to live the life I wanted to live with certain limitations.

Disabled is such a loaded word. We’ve been shown certain images of what disabled looks like – even if, slowly, we are becoming more educated about invisible illnesses but we’re not quite there yet. People still eye me when I sit in a seat for those who need it if I don’t have my walking stick. There have been times that I’ve taken my stick when I’m feeling ok just so I don’t get dirty look.

To me, I am disabled and I refuse to be ashamed of that. I still feel strange saying that out loud – I worry about not seeming ‘sick’ enough. I worry that I won’t be taken seriously but I’m working on it. Talking about invisible illness is a great start to making sure more people are heard and understood.

Changing the narrative is something we can all do together. Instead of seeing disabled people as those who are to be pitied or always seen as ‘brave’ for simply doing things anyone else would do. Does it often take more effort? Yes. Is it annoying? Definitely.

I’d love to hear your stories below!

10 Thoughts Spoonies Have Over The Holidays

Blogmas 2019: 10 Thoughts Spoonies Have Over The Holidays

Ah Spoonie life, aren’t you lovely? Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year buuuut my Fibro doesn’t always play nicely. If you’re a regular reader though you know I’ll poke fun at myself when I can because you have to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

So, I thought I’d have a little bit of fun with this one because I know a lot of my Spoonie friends are feeling the same

1. I’m going to pace myself this year

Personally, I alway start with the greatest of intentions, I’m going to chill out, have rest breaks etc. That said though, I’m not the best at pacing myself at a normal time of the year – let alone the time I’m allowed to be super extra.

2. If one more person asks me if I’m ‘better yet’ I may start throwing the Sprouts

WHAT PART OF CHRONIC ILLNESS DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND.

3. I wonder if I could make an advent calendar for my meds to make them more festive…

Always looking for ways to be more festive!

4. Can I put a new body on my Christmas list?

Don’t say you haven’t thought about it…I know I have. New central nervous system? Come to mumma!

5. How do I know/ am I related to so many people?

Seriously though, everyone wants to meet up at Christmas for a catch up or a coffee…because it’s Christmas/the holidays.

Of course you’re (mostly) grateful that there are people that love and care for you but trying to fit them all into the 24 days before Christmas on limited spoons is tough.

6. Yes I have a mobility aid. Yes I’m XX years old. Yes you are in my way.

I don’t know about you but when I’m out in the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and I take my walking stick it feels like everyone is either giving a quizzical glance or simply ignores it and me, particularly on the tube, where I need to sit down.

7. How many times can I say no to invitation before I seem like a Grinch?

This happens a lot when your non-spoonie friends want to hang out/ go drinking/ go for dinner etc. I’m usually weighing up my energy levels so I can work, socialise, clean my flat etc. I end up feeling like a TOTAL Grinch minus the cool outfit…

8. Naps, all of the naps, PLEASE

Need I say more?

9. My New Years Eve includes pjs, blankets and falling asleep way before midnight

I haven’t been ‘out out’ on New Years…ever. At most I’ve gone to a house party where there’s no pressure, no queueing for drinks and you can move around. That said, my perfect New Years is definitely on my sofa in cosy PJs with a pile of chocolate and my laptop.

10. It’ll be more relaxing next year…maybe

But I’m yet to have a relaxing next year!

Are there any other things my fellow Spoonies would add? Let me know below.

To Everyone Who Didn’t Vote Trump

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Hello,

You might not know me, you might not read my blog but watching the election results come in this morning left me with a sick, sinking feeling in my stomach. I’m not American, but I am human and I know what it feels like to get a result that you think is wrong and dangerous. My country voted for Brexit, and in the process, we got a Prime Minister we didn’t vote for.  I know that there are so many of you who are scared, confused and angry. That you now have a man that uses division, hatred, racism, and misogyny to get to where he is today. You’re right to be scared, most intelligent people would be and, like Brexit, I have no idea how this happened.

It’s not that I’m going to tell you to get over it and just feel better. There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear about the future, as there is here. What I am going to say though is that you are not alone in this. There is anger, disbelief ,and shock around the world that lies have won this election. But, most of us know that this doesn’t represent the good of America. There are so many incredible people that I have personally met and he doesn’t represent you as the people you are.

To every woman, every ethnic minority, every disabled person, every LGBTQ person everyone he and his campaign have offended you are not alone. It may feel that way right now, that you don’t know who to trust or what’s to come, but stay strong. The rest of the world understand your feelings of loss and pain and we won’t forget about you. It might feel like your country is against you, but the rest of the world are not.