I feel liberated by this blogging, but, at the same time, strangely imprisoned by it.
When I meet people in person, whether in a shop, on a train, over a coffee, I am, almost by definition, having a good day. Generally, people will find me pleasant and courteous, I hope, and fairly positive and prepared to smile. I have been described as “brave”.
Many disabled people, though not all, will have been described as “brave”, and will know what that feels like. Like blogging, it is a two-edged sword. On the one side, it is immensely gratifying. It feels good, doesn’t it? I mean, who wouldn’t like to be thought of as courageous? On the other hand, sometimes it feels like yet another cross we have to bear.
As if it were not cruel enough to be assumed to be fully-functioning, now we are also assumed to be brave and “an example to us all”!
This is all fine and dandy on a good day. It may even be true a little bit. It’s nice to be able to polish my medals.
But, on a bad day . . .
On a bad day we stay at home, or in bed, and we hurt and we brood, and some of us will use such days to cry, or to do unspeakable things with our bodies that we don’t really want to talk about or share. We know on such days we are not heroes, and you would not show us to your children as examples of bravery.
I feel that blogging is a kind of contract, between me and you, a reader. I promise to write about three times a week, regardless of how I feel, and, in return, I’d like to think you’ll read it. It’s easy for me to write to you on good days, and, on these days, I can be a bit witty, a bit brave, a bit positive. Who knows . . . on such days it may even be fun to read me, even recommend me.
But, on the bad days, I still write my posts. I don’t have to, of course, but if I didn’t I would feel that I was not being honest or truthful about who I am. It wouldn’t be fair on other disabled people, either, for all I would be doing was conniving with the myth that we are all brave and positive, or should be.#
So bear with me sometimes, bear with all of us. Sometimes I write grumpy posts, sometimes I feel misunderstood and bitter, sometimes – like last week – I get a cold that makes my symptoms worse – and sometimes I just wish I had stayed in bed. Sometimes, I just fire from the hip.
This blog is warts and all. Sorry.