It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! http://adaptfunrun.org/runner.php?id=7 I thank you very much for your support!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Content

Yesterday I went to the Caring Across Generations Washington DC Care Congress. It's all about getting more rights for domestic workers, including PCAs. I wouldn't consider myself a labor advocate, but ADAPT was a big sponsor, so they wanted a showing. Initially I felt guilted into going (I have standing Tuesday afternoon plans), but I am so glad I went.

On the Caring Across Generations site you can watch the morning portion of the Care Congress (Warning though, I think it's four hours), see all the religious, labor, elderly, and disabled activist groups that sponsored (there are tons), listen to personal stories, and look up where/when your local care congress will be held over the next 13 months.


To give you a little background on what it took for me to get there, up until my 20s I had panic attacks in Target. My directional sense is horrible, I still cannot ever seem to find the front of the store, but now that I'm a chair user the anxiety has dissipated. I'm not wearing myself out like I was. Nor do I seem to care when I get out of there.

I started off my day from my parents' house, being that they live an hour closer then I do, and hopped on the bus to the metro. Turns out the elevator was out at the stop, so I hopped on another bus to the next stop (making me late, but so what), rode the metro where I needed to go, got off, rolled half a block down the correct street, noted that the numbers were going down, not up, turned around, and found the hotel without any trouble.

I couldn't help but beam. That was something I was never completely certain I'd be able to do, and I didn't even bat an eye (I think that's the expression) when I did it. It was a good start to a very long and tiring 19hr day, as I hadn't slept a full night in 5 days at that point.

It was more then nice to see and relax with some super awesome activist crips and labor activists whom I either just met or hadn't had a chance to see in a couple of months, as they live all over the country. It was also a good chance to be myself and to be viewed as an individual with enormous potential to affect change in the lives of millions of people, even though I don't know nearly as much about labor issues as others there. I felt smart, I felt accomplished, I felt valued, and oddly enough I didn't feel inferior to anyone there. I've had an inferiority complex for YEARS.

After giving it some serious thought before I made a comittment to go, it turns out I also didn't give a crap that I ditched my shrink appointment to go. I didn't need to go. I needed to be there. I needed to find the hotel alone without having a panic attack, to navigate both me and a friend through the metro to a resturant I'd never been to before, and to have social interaction beyond the walls of the local nuthouse (where OOO uses donated space). So I texted her at about 10pm. Old habits die hard. I told her I felt [a word I refuse to use in relation to myself], for lack of the ability to find a more appropriate word at the time. I had more fun Tuesday night then I can remember having possibly ever, and later came up with those words that had alluded me at the time.

I felt HAPPY. I felt CONTENT.

"Life is what happens when you're not at your shrink." True that!

I don't know if I've ever felt content in my life. I don't think I've felt happy in 3 years (well, maybe at National Actions). I can't remember when I didn't feel inferior. I mean, I grew up a cripple. I didn't have any happy and content crip role models growing up. I'd never met a confident, content wheelchair user until 3 years ago. I knew it was possible, but man did I have some roadblocks.

I've known for years that I needed more then just medication and therapy to keep me stable and functional, but I didn't have have the resourses to access what I needed. This dramatic development didn't happen on it's own in issolation. So I'd love to keep going, but this post is long, and I already talked about that a little. Maybe there'll be more tomorrow.

3 comments:

GirlWithTheCane said...

That sounds like a wonderful day! :)

I haven't had my disabilities my whole life, as you have...but I remember how long it was before I reached those "content" days, where I actually started to feel okay with being someone with physical disabilities. I think that once you start having them, it becomes easier to have them more often. I think it's awesome that you're such an activist, and that you're getting so much out of it. :)

intercision said...

That's so cool you found some accepting people. Hopefully you will be able to try to get to those accepting places more or try to find more local people who are.

I am similar to you that I'm bipolar and have a physical disability (though it is milder than yours). I know physical disability comorbid with mental illness can have exponential negative impact as you don't have the mental faculties to spin all the negativity on account of your physical disability in a positive or at least neutral light. At least it works like that for me.

I admire people like you though that are taking to the streets!

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