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Abled-bodied people stress about things such as their job, safety of their children that a disabled person might also stress about but sometimes we don’t stress about these things because it’s not relevant to our lives. As an unemployed disabled person, I do not stress about work because I don’t have a job and my blog does not generate enough income for it to be considered a job. People sometimes think that because I don’t have a job that I must never be stressed and will say things like ” you are so lucky that you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn for a job you hate.” I will give it to you that I am never stressed about work because I love what I do and don’t pressure myself to work at levels where it would be stressful but when you say that my life as a disabled person has no stresses it’s infuriating and shows how much you know about my disability because being disabled is filled with constant stresses that you wouldn’t know if you weren’t disabled. Disabled and chronically ill people have constant stresses because managing a disability or chronic illness is a full-time job with terrible pay, but people often think that we sit at home all day bingeing Netflix without a care in the world. In this post, I am going to talk about a few things that I may stress about as a disabled person that you wouldn’t stress about if you were abled.
When your bowel act up out in public- If you have been following my blog you should know that my bowels do not work properly and that there are ways to manage them but you can’t fix bowel issues with Spina Bifida because there is no cure. In a perfect world, when my gut was not feeling the greatest and my bowels were not cooperating I’d stay but it doesn’t always work out that way. When you have Spina Bifida you are more prone to accidents because you don’t have the muscles to hold things in like everyone else does and sometimes things just come out before you had time to get to a bathroom. If I am at home an have an accident I would feel bad that I made more work for someone else because a vast majority of the time I can’t clean things up myself but I wouldn’t be embarrassed about it because the only people that would know would be my family. Most of the time when I go out in public I am fine and nothing happens but it can be so stressful when I go to social gatherings where there is food because it’s embarrassing when you are a grown adult and have an accident in public. I always have extra supplies in my car just in case I don’t bring enough but it still doesn’t make it any less stressful. If I was a child it wouldn’t be as stressful because people expect kids to have accident but you don’t expect full-grown adults to have a massive explosion and sometimes people will make fun of you because they don’t understand your situation. Bowel issues can be so stressful sometimes and abled person without these issues will never understand the fear when I have to leave my home and be around a bunch of people.
Stress of money– I looked for a job for nearly ten years and wasn’t because I didn’t want the experience of employment but it’s didn’t think I was ever going to find one. I started blog because I was unable to find a real one and eventually gave up and focused on blogging. When you are disabled it is more difficult to find employment because when employers see your disability often they make wrongful assumptions about your disability and assume you can’t do the job as well as an abled applicant. Some disabled people find jobs but the employment rate amongst disabled people is lower and it’s usually people with college degrees which unfornately is not an option for me. I get SSI which means the government gives me money every month that I use for medical expenses and pleasure. Some people think that getting free money from the government for doing nothing is the best thing ever because they are lazy and want free handouts but what people don’t tell you is that you don’t get enough to live off of and aren’t allowed to save money. I stress about money more than the average person because I can’t afford a lot of expensive things and when things break a lot of the time I can’t replace them . My computer died a while ago and I was using my iPad as a backup which also ended up dying a few months later and if it wasn’t for people in my family having spare computers lying around that they weren’t using I would have had to start a podcast that I would not have enjoyed as much because I hate making video content. I am grateful that I can still live with my parents because with the cost of living these days would make it nearly impossible to comfortably live on my own but if I could I would move out. It sometimes can be a terrifying thought that I am not going to be able to live at home forever and that one day my parent will not be able to support me and I’ll need a different living arrangement. Money can be a stressor or able-bodied people but it’s not nearly as stressful as it is for disabled people who quite literally can’t afford the cost of living. The one thing I do have going for me is that I have a lot of siblings that if I had to move wouldn’t let me be on the streets.
Will I be able to access your building?– Able-bodied people have the luxury of being able to go to the store and being able to enter the building easily but when you are disabled it can be challenges. We live in an inaccessible work which can be very stressful when disabled people have to leave their home because the world is not set up for us. You can call places and ask them if they are accessible but a vast majority of the time people will say they are accessible but are so far from it because able-bodied people do not understand accessibility like abled people do. Accessibility is often an after-though for a vast majority able-bodied people because inaccessibility doesn’t but when you are disabled you have to think about. When you are disabled there is always the question of will I waste trip going to a restaurant that I couldn’t go to because they didn’t have disabled access?
Fear of your pain flaring- If you don’t live with chronic migraine or any type of chronic pain consider that a blessing because it’s hard and stressful to live with unpredictable pain. You don’t know when your next attack will be or if you will be a place where you can easily rest because chronic pain is not often convenient and there is always of fear of when your next attack will be. It can be so scary and stressful to live with chronic daily headaches because a vast majority of people don’t understand how daily pain affects your life and some people think that you can take Excedrin and be pain-free in twenty minutes which would be nice but not a reality.
Some disabled people have jobs and have work-related stress but even though someone is unemployed that does not mean their life is completely stress-free. Disabled people have some of the same stresses as abled people but what a lot of people tend forget is that I am constantly stressing about things related to my disability even though I don’t work. Jobs are stressful am I am not saying that the challenges of my disability or more stressful than your work because I can’t know that without knowing your work tasks, but I could argue that some of my challenges are more annoying than your coworkers. It is insulting when you tell disabled people that they should never be stressed because they don’t have to work because the truth is a lot of us want to but can’t due to all the discrimination that happens in jobs interviews or are unable to due to pain. People stress about different things because we all lead different lives, and we need to stop telling people that the only people with valid stress are those with jobs. These are only a small fraction of things I stress about as a disabled person because the list could go on forever but not all disabled people will have these same types of stressors and depends on the individual and disability. What do you stress about as a disabled person?
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