As you can probably tell, I’ve been in a bit of a sweary, ranty mood recently. Not because anything new has happened in terms of my health. It’s all just the same old stuff but trying to figure out how to live the life I want and achieve those things while navigating a body that pretty much only functions in a way that doesn’t make me want to die when I’m curled up in bed doing nothing for months at a time.
I’ve never been a fan of the way a lot of people who talk about their health have done it. Look, each to their own, but I try to stay away from the over-dramatic “tumblrina” scene. It just doesn’t do anything for me. That being said, I’ve become significantly more aware of the way that people who aren’t disabled speak to me and others about chronic illness and the constant picking discrimination that we face. From pretty much having to beg for help at Camden tube station the other week to being bombarded with the stories of people being dismissed, ignored or minimised because “they look fine”, the chronic illness community is starting to shout about it. And too bloody right. With the cuts in support for disabled people continuing in the UK, the more understanding there is out there, the more chance we have for society to stand up with us and say “this is not good enough and things need to change”.
If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know that I don’t share my experiences to complain. I’m writing about the realities of living with a chronic illness and it’s not complaining when I say that my body has crashed, that I can’t function or work (although I do do plenty of that – sorry mum!) It’s just a statement of fact.
I’m clearly not the only one that has had enough. A hashtag has popped up on Twitter called #ShitAbledPeopleSay, that brings to light some of the things that we have to face every day. Some of my favourites are below. I’d also recommend checking out the long discussion thread on this Project Chronic Instagram post!
At least it’s not cancer. You could have cancer” #ShitAbledPeopleSay
— Natasha Lipman (@natashalipman) July 17, 2016
‘Oh yeah, I think I have that too sometimes!’ #ShitAbledPeopleSay — Pippa (@sassyspoonie) July 17, 2016
‘At least you’re not dying, it could be a lot worse’ (when you’re in the middle of the worst flare up of your life) #shitabledpeoplesay
— Holly (@HollyCrouch) July 17, 2016
Those of us that tweeted in the #shitabledpeoplesay hashtag aren’t bitter, angry disabled people, we’re sick of not being heard.
— Sarah Alexander (@WonderlandBlogs) July 17, 2016
“If you’re really disabled that means you can’t work. If you can’t work you don’t contribute to society” #ShitAbledPeopleSay — alice wong (@SFdirewolf) July 17, 2016
It’s “people with disabilities,” not “disabled people.” You’re using the wrong terms. #ShitAbledPeopleSay
— alice wong (@SFdirewolf) July 17, 2016
#ShitAbledPeopleSay “You don’t let it define you” “You don’t let it stop you” 👏stop👏saying👏this👏 — karolyn gehrig (@karolynprg) July 17, 2016
‘When will you be better?’
‘Well, it’s chronic’
‘Yeah, so when will it be gone?’ 🙄🙄🙄 #shitabledpeoplesay
— Sarah Alexander (@WonderlandBlogs) July 16, 2016
*stands up from wheelchair* LIAR. FRAUD. FAKE. BENEFIT SCROUNGER #ShitAbledPeopleSay — Sarah Alexander (@WonderlandBlogs) July 16, 2016
“Why are you in that wheelchair if you can walk?” #ShitAbledPeopleSay
— Crippi Longstocking (@notwaving) July 16, 2016
“Did you even really TRY?” *to do the thing your physical disability won’t allow you to do?* #ShitAbledPeopleSay — Keah Brown (@Keah_Maria) July 16, 2016
“You don’t look Disabled”#ShitAbledPeopleSay
— IsaJennie ♿️ (@IsaJennie) July 16, 2016
#ShitAbledPeopleSay “How do you have sex?” Me: pic.twitter.com/vBpzC0sBqq — ㅤ (@iRollWitDaCrips) July 16, 2016
“Yeah, you have a disability, but you’re not DISABLED disabled” #ShitAbledPeopleSay
— Kaitlyn Plyley (@kplyley) July 16, 2016
‘But you’re so lucky! I wish I could stay in bed all day!’ #ShitAbledPeopleSay — Pippa (@sassyspoonie) July 17, 2016
“You should try acupuncture/yoga/meditation/green tea/essential oils! Cures all!” re: chronic pain or other illness #ShitAbledPeopleSay — Annie Segarra (@annieelainey) July 16, 2016
Them: “If you pray, God might fix you.”
Me: “But he made me this way…”
— ㅤ (@iRollWitDaCrips) July 16, 2016
#shitabledpeoplesay “the only disability in life is a bad attitude :)))” #disability #ablism #gofuckyourself — Name in progress (@chroniccuteness) October 10, 2015
“You spend far too much time thinking about your health” #ShitAbledPeopleSay
— Natasha Lipman (@natashalipman) July 17, 2016
#ShitAbledPeopleSay “Oh you can’t focus for very long? You should sleep more and eat a banana” I sleep for 10 hours a night and eat paleo — garbage lizard (@Lady_Markov) July 9, 2014
“X disabled person did this amazing thing! Why arent you doing amazing things?” Me getting out of bed is amazing.#shitabledpeoplesay — Jake™ ♿ (@Limbicfuturist) July 17, 2016
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