Hey, I’m disabled. Lately I felt non-disabled for the first time in 20 years.
I was riding my trike a couple weeks ago in that wonderful church lot, and I realized I could just keep riding, indefinitely. Without pain, nonchalantly, as a non-disabled person who takes their body for granted because it does what they ask it to, every day.
I just about fell off my trike, when I realized I felt non-disabled. It was an ecstatic moment. I felt deeply grateful and healed, held, and like a miracle had happened, really. I never knew I would feel that way ever again.
That lasted a few moments. By afternoon, I was lying in bed in the half-dark, horizontal with exhaustion and maybe craziness or whatever. I have the psychiatric disabilities which I’m actually on SSDI for, but there are the physical ones too, and they go together for sure.
Long time ago I wanted to be a crazy person who didn’t do it no more, like Tim’m West in the Stutterer song.
I’m a diehard stutterer, but I don’t do it no more.
I kept thinking I was done with the functionally ill zine because I didn’t need to talk about any mental health anymore. Then I’d have a struggle and write another issue. I’m working on issue 29 now.
If I’m happy not to be disabled anymore, is that ok? Well, it wasn’t real. Or it was real for only part of a morning.
I feel like a fairweather friend. I could leave my disabled peeps behind. “Hey, it was nice being disabled with you. I’m abled now. See ya later. Good luck!” I hurry off, leaving them to circle the capital in light rain and lobby the representatives of representatives without me. That’s really rude.
I have to be accurate and honest. But it’s a bit confusing. In addition to being invisible, disabilities can be episodic.
I feel energetic, pain-free, not that crazy, happy, and well right now. I’m not hearing any voices. I’m up but not too up. I slept almost five hours last night.
I say sometimes that I’m disabled by schizoaffective disorder, anxiety, and capitalism. I have my life struggles, but capitalism is the one that says I’m supposed to be predictably, consistently, unwaveringly productive. I’m made of so many cycles. But capitalism told me I need to be able to work fulltime or more, always.
I enjoy having fluctuations, including hormones, moods, feelings, hunger, sleep, the day cycle, the seasons, the wheel of the year. It’s supposed to be like that. Fields can lie fallow. Winter could freeze the ground. We don’t all need to do all the things, all the times.
Well, I love you, disabled people. I love you, street medics, tincture makers, nurses, listeners, caregivers paid and unpaid. People who could do it for a long time, people who could do it for a while, people who quit the first day.
Please be patient with me as I move from category to category, moment by moment. Please accept me as I am, with messy feelings and all my needs. I want to be loyal. But I also want to be capable and have all the spoons, I must admit.