Today I will be crash testing the latest in a line of Flip Flops! Oh and what disability means to me.
Featured image – Another fun card we found in paperchase, well it made me laugh!
Title Song – Sisqo – Thong Song – Gotta thank Donnateale from instagram for this choice. I bet every one of you knows all the words too.
Sorry, no flip-flop review today! oh no, come on, please don’t go! look i will do a little babble about the boo hoo disabled malarki, then I might make a few jokes, maybe a pun if there is time, and leave you with a brilliant music video. You have read this far so you may aswell stay now anyway.
noun.a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities.
So for years, I didn’t think chronic pain counted. I mean that as no slur on other chronic pain sufferers, but I was in such denial about my own lack of independence I just chose to pretend it wasn’t a disability. We shall delicately avoid talking about the mental breakdowns and how that might have been more of a sign I needed to accept I was disabled. Alas, I was not so wise as to realise. It was actually quite a way into my psychotherapy that the Doctor said to me I was disabled.
Luz had Bought me a hiking stick the week before that appointment, And it helped me move about so much with confidence again. It seems silly to some that I have pain in my neck and arm, but I use a cane.
Impact pain is horrendous and debilitating at times, so for me personally shuffling is less painful. I also tilt my head slightly to relieve the pain and this has caused me to have a slight balance issue. I may have fallen down more than once in the past few years, When a flare happens, vision can go funny, my stomach churns like I am going on stage. Also my orientation wavers, which if i’m sitting down is fine, but standing without a cane may cause accidents
So my psychotherapist inquired into why I used the cane, and why I hadn’t before. There is a slight case of being too stupid to have thought about it. The real thing holding me back however was my personal feeling of embarrassment. It is a very visual representation of my condition. It felt like I was accepting defeat, instead of the reality; That I was accepting myself, and I was asking for help.
I began to feel comfortable describing myself as disabled. This had some immediate knock on effects. My benefits changed after review. I began accepting I needed support, which meant I stopped feeling I was undeserving of higher rates of support. We got a Mobility car and blue badge, and some other benefits. My personal favourite is my card that means whoever takes me to the cinema gets in free as my carer! I really need to advertise this more so people come and take me to the cinema like every week (I hope this blog will be a big enough platform).
It was nice to see a physical advantage to accepting my disabilities. And yes now, I understand I have both mental and physical disabilities. Hey! I can’t help being blind to my own flaws alright? I have definitely learnt through acceptance of myself a better self-awareness. I now understand myself and my needs a lot clearer. It took a long time to be able to accept it.
Perhaps it was the act of Luz realising I needed more help and getting me the hiking stick. which I have now replaced with my foldy woldy cane, and I am definitely looking into a unilateral wheel chair which I can self propel with one hand.
Maybe it was the Doctor highlighting it for me, or perhaps it was just my own self realisation that I needed to be comfortable admitting to myself I was disabled. That was infinitely harder than telling anyone else.
I was freed by my discover, a testament to my therapy really! I am so glad, and so lucky I got into a 2 year course of psychotherapy. The NHS is heavily cutting back on its funding for mental health care in my region. My psychiatrist took early retirement, and my psychotherapist was concerned of the future of her method of treatment. The new plans for all treatment is to only be in 6 week blocks and to then be refered back to GP. I had over 75 sessions. to have to go back for GP re-referal after every 6 sessions would have been ridiculous. One of the major factors of the psychotherapy was the routine of it, every Monday I saved up spoons we drove the 20 miles to Leicester and I had to speak about myself for an hour! It was hard, sometimes I cancelled appointments when the pain was too high, and the next week the motivation to go was lost.
It’s hard to find yourself when you have no motivation to do so, and Depression can be just as crippling as physical ailments. It made me more elusive, more hidden and more stubborn. I wasn’t disabled, I could walk, just because it hurt, didn’t mean I couldn’t do it. No Ben! Pain means you cant do it; To be physically able means that you don’t get pain from getting up and walking.
Accepting I was disabled, also meant accepting the end of my independence. Not fully, but as I knew it. It was pride and fear that stopped me from asking for help. It kept me trapped in my own fake prison.
Disabled fortunately is a different word from incapable, and therefore means something different. (I bet you didn’t get lessons this good at school ^^). I did think they were one and the same, and that being disabled meant I couldn’t function without help. There are things I can do, and every day I am testing myself a little more, pushing myself a little bit and finding the limits of my ability.
In reflection being told this probably would have helped me being told it at my lowest moments. It would have gone unheard, and that was the other benefit of therapy. Human interaction, someone to have an opinion from another perspective, someone to plant seeds and offer new ideas that might not have been in your field of vision. The more I reconnect with the world, the more contact I have with people, The more I learn about myself. Different perspective showed me that I needed help. I was able to listen again without only hearing pain and despair.
So on that note…
Fuck yeah Sisqo!!! what a legend, and how cute was he..all ikkle and flippy. I wanted one for my pocket to throw out at parties! I loved the film “Get Over It” with his cameo and this songs true lodging in my head. I do remember it coming out while i was at college, a performing arts college, with dancers, lots of dancers. I heard this song lots while the choreography was being learnt for the dance routine. It was amazing time of my life at college, It was a previous awakening of realisation about myself. This song really does remind me of some of my most fun times in lectures!