BADD: One Year Out of the Closet

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2010I've been trying all day to figure out what, exactly, I wanted to say one year on from publicly identifying as disabled. And the truth is, there isn't much to say. My disability is still in approximately the same place as it was last year, with a few additional coping strategies that I'm guessing wouldn't be of any particular interest to anyone.

What there is to say is this: Identifying myself as disabled, instead of my old stand-by "fucked up," has brought me a sort of peace with my post-traumatic stress disorder that I didn't have a year ago. I am more reconciled to the idea of existing with it, rather than suffering from it.

Which, in what is decidedly not a coincidence, makes me feel less like I'm suffering and more like I'm surviving.

I've worked through a lot of internalized disblism (mostly directed at my own disability and how it relates to my sense of self; I hold myself to standards I would never hold another disabled person) over the past year, in tandem with dealing with the secondary trauma of silence, which I have imposed on myself as much as others imposed on me.

My voice remains, as ever and more so every day, my most important tool.

And so I will say again, in a clear voice: I have post-traumatic stress disorder. It is a chronic mental illness. I am disabled.

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