Welcome to my first Disability Diaries entry for 2017. Over the next week, I will be dedicating my blog to discussions regarding disability (more than usual)). I am joining awesome hosts: Ely (who created this whole thing!), Angel, Cee Arr, Lara Liz, and Jolien.
I was always a crier. Frequently suffering from intense mood swings and daily dose of manic episodes. Unable to maintain friendships, I relied on stories to find acceptance. And, unfortunately, it was very hard to find my place in a grander narrative. So, I existed with the pressure of trying to mask all the “weirdness.”
Never did I think that there were others like me. As educated as I thought I was, I was never aware of my family’s history with mental illness.
But, by January of 2012, I was crying all the time. Constantly. Things were going “well,” too. I had a steady job and two college degrees under my belt. There were very few reasons for my sadness. I felt so guilty for being unwell. Days would go by and I would be unable to get out of bed.
Even though I had just gotten a car, I was also starting to see things that confused me on the road. I would hear whispers about how much I sucked at driving. My heart was always beating too fast and loud for me to breathe properly.
One day, my mom sat me down and encouraged me to look into therapy. So I did. I remember my second appointment being on Valentine’s Day. Then, by June, I was writing about my journey angrily on my blog. You may be wondering why you can’t see posts from my early days on the blog-o-sphere. Well, I was very angry and frustrated. When I shared my experiences, I was quick to delete them out of fear and shame.
While I am trying to gear this blog toward books and more tangible things, I am also hoping for representation of disabled people like myself. It is hard to find good examples of people who are disabled in literature, I find. And, if the portrayal is accurate or convincing, sometimes the illness takes over the narrative. This is one of the reasons why even five years into treatment, I still struggle to be my own hero in my life.
My hope is to get a dialogue going to help other disabled people voice their experiences too. In doing so, we can challenge the idea of us being “abnormal” or objects to be controlled and manipulated. Part of it is confronting the shaming and overall erasure of our existence and, by extension, our value.
Hope you’re ready for Disability Diaries. I look forward to check out your posts and get the dialogue going!