Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Handicap International: Donate Now to Help Injured and Disabled Syrian Refugees

I've been trying to find the best way for me to help Syrian refugees. After doing some research, I was pleased to discover that a disability-specific charity exists.

From the website: "Co-winner of the [1997] Nobel Peace Prize, Handicap International supports people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations living in conflict and disaster zones and in situations of exclusion and extreme poverty."

"Since early 2013, Handicap International has deployed rehabilitation teams to northern Syria to provide physical therapy to the injured and disabled. The organization has worked with injured Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon since the summer of 2012. In summer 2014, Handicap International extended its operations to include Syrian refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan."

Fleeing through treacherous conditions from one dire situation into another (that is uncertain, life threatening, and prone to breathtaking ridicule) sounds like one of the most nightmarish events a person could endure. My heart drops an extra notch for the vulnerability of those with disability and/or injury in the mix.

Please donate if you can or share the link.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Notable Evidence That My Body Does Some Things Well

I spend so much time and energy juggling the uncooperativeness of my body that I often neglect to take stock of what's going well with it. 

So! Things that are going well as of right now:

Alive and listing toward quality
Never had a cavity
Heart is anatomically normal
Blood pressure is always satisfactory
Hearing is typical
Kidneys and liver function as expected
Skull protects my brain like a pro
Brain fights for me even when it doesn't
Most of my body responds well to low-impact exercise when I can get it

No doubt there are more, but that's enough for me to gather some perspective by today.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Do You View Disability As A Death Sentence?

I was captivated by the title of this article over at The Mighty:

Reading it got me thinking about the various things I've heard regarding living with disability. Most of them come from non-strangers - people I know and/or love.

"I don't know how you do it." "I'd never be able to do what you're doing." "I'm so thankful that I have a mind and body that work the way I want them to, because it would be the end of my life if they didn't." "No offense, but I'm glad I'm not you." "The prospect of becoming disabled terrifies me. I'd rather be dead than go through that experience." "I'm afraid of being near you, because I'm afraid that disability will rub off on me." "Do you ever think you'd be better off dead?"

Disability is automatically a death sentence? My life has no worth because of disability?


I am often reminded of the capacity for fear that people possess when it comes to confronting the subject of non-peak health. How we shudder ourselves into fragments merely entertaining the idea that long term illness or disability might affect us personally someday. I have a difficult time processing the ebb and flow of this topic myself, and I've had 25 years to acclimate.

As much as our health-conscious society wants us to stamp it down and shove it aside, disability or illness will almost certainly happen to you or someone you care about at some point. There is value in preparing yourself (mentally and logistically) for that fact as much as there is value in having a life insurance policy. You might not need it, but you'll be more prepared and less scared if you do.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sarcasm! Sarcasm? Uuuggghhh.

Lately, I've been experiencing extra communication confusion. This is because I've been going out in public more (water exercise class for people who don't move around well!), which, in and of itself, is a good thing. In new situations, I usually try to keep uncomfortableness to a minimum by not initiating conversation. This class are a chatty bunch and I've been called upon to speak more than usual. Locker room times are not a scenario I have a lot of experience with, so I've already ostracized myself by not making sense when I talk (which is mostly in incomplete sentences when I'm not busy saying something unintentionally confusing or offensive.)

This brings me to the concept of sarcasm.

I understand sarcasm, but I can't often be sure if someone is using it, telling a joke, messing with me, being literal, etc. Text is easier for me to interpret than spoken words, but I'm not great at internet tone, either. I agonize over everything I post because I want to make sure the words I'm using match the tone I'm setting. It's more exhausting face to face, because arranging my face to match my emotions is like a turbo game of pick-up sticks. This also means other people sometimes think I'm being funny or angry when I'm not feeling it in the least. Fortunately, there are people in my life who understand this, are patient with me, and have no problem giving me the space to work out something someone said, or eventually get around to whatever point I'm trying to make.

It's important for me, for multiple reasons, to weigh the pros and cons of going somewhere on purpose. I'm not always at home; but, I have to consciously make myself ready to interact with people out in the world, and be okay if it goes badly. I'll still go to the pool without worrying about whether or not people like me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Under Construction

My brain isn't in a focusing place, so I'm going to keep this short-ish.

I realized awhile ago that I've been trying to rebuild my most recent life upsets the same way I usually do. I have a lot of practice dealing with existential crises, but my tried-and-true approach is both physically and mentally impossible at the moment (and has been for longer than I care to admit).

The other day, someone near and dear to me said I've become a completely different person - like the infrastructure of my brain fell out. Brilliant! That is exactly how it feels. I've been bracing the grey matter with found objects and busily patching it up with chewing gum and bits of string for as long as I can remember. It's exceedingly exhausting, so I'm going to stop.

I'm going to fully embrace the part of me that requires solitude and no one else's opinion. If I disappear even further than I have for awhile, if I don't return messages, it's because I'm trying to be still and heal. I'm not good at being still, but I'm never going to figure out how to reinforce my brain if I don't do it.

I'm still following the autism path and if I have anything to say about it, I probably will.

Straightforward support > platitudes > devil's advocate