psychological stability

Special Needs

Ableism is discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities or who are perceived to have disabilities. Ableism characterizes persons as defined by their disabilities and as inferior to the non-disabled. ~ Wikipedia

I made the mistake of reading comments on an Instagram post in favor of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They were mostly positive. But, there was one naysayer who stood out for his initial lack of vitriol. He was just mildly snarky. But, it was like he had committed some heinous sin, instead of posting a disagreement rooted in ignorance.

He was immediately under attack. Mostly the responses remained as snarky comebacks. However, one of them made me cringe.

It sounds like your boss is good at hiring people with special needs.

I couldn’t scroll past without addressing it.

Back in the day, the insult used was, “retard,” frequently accompanied by a physically mocking action. Much like 45’s mocking actions regarding a reporter who experiences a physical disability.

Another one is, “riding the short bus.”

However you frame it, it’s showing a prejudice toward people with disabilities, especially intellectual ones.

How about how mental health challenges are referred to?

What are you, crazy?

Man, that was INSANE!

She’s so bipolar.

That one’s not right in the head.

Or the fact that so many movies and TV shows portray mental health patients as dangerous killers and all the shootings being reported as someone with mental illness, before an evaluation can be done?

The stigma and prejudices against people with physical, developmental, and mental disabilities is real and insidious. Just as we need to recognize, call out, and address racism, in all its forms, sexism, genderism, and sizism, we need to call out ableism.

It isn’t about political correctness, it’s about human rights.

For more on my perspective on ableism, go here.

And life goes on

I’ve got a confession to make. I have really been struggling the past few days, emotionally. I’ve done my best to focus on what’s right and good and to celebrate the victories and identify what’s working. Somehow, though, all of that is not having much of an effect on my emotional and psychological stability.

I’m very tired of this mini roller-coaster of slight hills of positive outlook and what feels like “high” energy and motivation – for me at least. My highs are never really that high, but they are distinctly perceptible to me and very much not my “norm” of blah, blech, ugh. Insomnia increases due to overactive thoughts and plans and wants and eager looking forward to what I’m going to accomplish now that I’m doing “better.”

These are the times I tend to optimistically overestimate my own drive, determination, and desire to dream big for me. Excitement and a not quite euphoric expectation that this time will be different. These are the moments and periods when I am inspired and might even be inspiring.

I overcommit, overreach, and overstep and take on too much, make promises I can’t keep, and throw caution to the wind. At least I used to.

I’ve since learned what comes next: the crash. BOOM! BANG! CRUNCH!

It can be anything external: job loss, a crisis in the life of a loved one, the power pack to the laptop burning out and no money to get a new one. (Yep, THAT just happened. Finishing this post with one-fingered hunt & peck on the miniature touch keyboard on my phone.) It can be triggered by the weather changing and activating the symptoms of the fibromyalgia, which play into, trigger, and mask the depression symptoms. Most likely, the crash is precipitated by a combination of these kinds of thing which trigger a cascading flow of negative thoughts and a rising tide of raging, churning emotion.

My highs aren’t high enough, long enough, or frequent enough to be identified as “mania.” They are just considered to be “good days.” My lows are more static, consistent and persistent enough to impair without being life-threatening or debilitating.

In the meantime, I learned not to trust myself or expect too much from the fatigued, pain-filled, depressed, and unreliable not-so-little me. It was easier.

I guess though I’m starting to win in what I had come to believe was a losing battle.

The fact that the anxiety, depression, and now even quivering rage are running rampant in my brain and tripping the flow of hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline causing me to feel crazy and out of control isn’t as significant as the fact that 1) I am becoming more adept at talking myself through them and not letting them rule my action and 2) I’m also starting to genuinely experience the positive emotions and I am finding more spontaneous moments of smiling, laughter and, could it be . . . joy shining through.