Hey, 2020! Thbptttttttt…Take that!
While the rest of the world was adapting and overcoming their altered state of living, the disabled/chronic illness community (ok, it was me) was kinda savoring watching the able-bodied world get a taste of what it looks, and more importantly, FEELS like to have the rug that is the life you’ve become accustomed to, yanked right out from underneath you by an external source over which you have ZERO control.
Even my own husband, who’s seen up close how a chronic illness can turn your life’s plans into scorched earth has had a reality check. When he’s groaned “I can’t even do XYZ!”, I would jokingly (kinda) say “How’s that feel?” with a shitty grin and a pitying tone. He’d pause, think for a second, then keep it moving. He knew if he was looking for sympathy, he was gonna have to look elsewhere.
But, why am I giving 2020 the raspberries? It’s not in a “You sucked!” (though it did on so many levels) kinda way. It’s more like a “Nanner nanner boo boo”, kiss my ass kinda way. Why? Because, I already had all the mental tools I needed to stay productive, hopeful, calm and patient. If you live with a chronic illness and/or disability, living without those assets in your coping bank account will break you. Basically, my life didn’t change much at all. In some ways, it improved (thank you, grocery pickup and curbside dining).
So, as we head into 2021 yearning for this shit show of a year to start turning around (it will), the able-bodied will return to business as usual, as will we. But, I’m secretly hoping, as they move forward, they will remember how this all felt and be able to relate to our community in a different way. With a different eye. One that sees and appreciates the wisdom that comes with our unique life experience. We have a lot to offer and I’m going to prove that in 2021. Wait for it…
Happy New Year, my friends!