Editor’s note: We’ve see a lot of ableist social media posts during the pandemic about people not taking showers, not brushing their hair or being stuck at home. Lauren Thompson reminds everyone that some of us cannot shower or take care of ourselves because we don’t always have support staff to help. So the next time someone feels the urge to make a funny post, Thompson reminds those who don’t live with disability to check one’s privilege and post about how grateful they are instead.
by Lauren Thompson
It hurts when you’re not able to do what you want. It hurts when you’re not able to do what you should. It hurts when you’re not able to leave your home.
It hurts when you’re not able to spend time with family and friends. It hurts when you’re unable to work. It hurts when you’re not able to have the services that you need. You’re hurting, because, right now, you’re disabled. Take a deep breath because if you’re lucky, you’ll feel better when this is over.
Some people won’t. Some people will get sick, ,some people will die, some people will grieve great losses,. You don’t know where you’ll end up in all of this and that’s very scary. You might feel nervous, on edge, terrified. That’s normal. That’s why a lot of disabled people have anxiety.
That’s why I have anxiety. As someone who has been disabled and anxious my whole life, my advice is to take a deep breath each and every day you make it through, show gratitude and check your privilege. You’ll learn more about what it means to have to fight, to lose, to go without.
You’ll be stronger because you have to be. That’s what happens when you’re disabled.
Lauren Thompson lives in Champlain.