I’m here for those that have been wrongfully called bitter. I’m here for those that woke up and realized that they will never be equal. I’m here for those that have cried today because they lack the gift that lies within the ability to put your own shoes on. I’m here for those that have scoffed at their medications this morning. I’m here for the angry. I’m here for the gripes, the aches and pains, the “I wish I could do this by myself.” thoughts. The “I wonder what privacy feels like.” thoughts. I’m here for the raised voice. The eye rolls, the “Shut up”s, the sarcastic, the quick wit, the silence of surrender. I’m here for those that have been conditioned to be positive all the time. For the nights you hide away your tears of frustration from your loved ones. For the days you feel trapped in your body as opposed to graced with this existence.
I’m here for the bad days. I’m here for the angry crippled punks that won’t shut up. For every “Chin up!” or “It could be worse.” I’ll raise my glass to your groan. I’m here for the impossible, I’m here for all of those that are slowly waking up from the slumber of idealism, not optimism. I’m here to tell you that our anger is okay.
The fear, the exhaustion, and the anger are valid and very real emotions. Our friends and family want us to remain positive because they care and I understand that, but sometimes the notion of looking on the bright side can feel invalidating. Being told that I’m a good person because I “seldom complain” is something I tired of very quickly.
I don’t like my disabilities. There. I said it. I don’t like my disabilities. I don’t enjoy the fact that I cannot work off my benefits comfortably, that I have to have someone come and help me get my day started, I hate the fact that I have to take pills every day for some dose of my normalcy, and I loathe the systematic inequality I face. I hate knowing that I have a lot of potential, and some of that potential may never be reached, not due to lack of drive or courage, but due to the lack of opportunities extended to me as an individual with several disabilities. I can’t be as spontaneous as a twenty-something is “supposed” to be because I have to schedule transportation to and from everywhere days in advance, I run late to work, not of my own accord, but due to my reliance on other people, and color me stubborn, but I hate relying on others. Despite the fact that I’m forced to because my survival depends on it, I hate it.
And I’m angry. My anger doesn’t look cute. It’s not supposed to. I’m not going to water down my frustrations in order to set an abled bodied/neuro typical person’s mind at ease. Friend, family, stranger, it doesn’t matter. I’m entitled to my bad days. I’ve earned them, with every single breath I take in with willingness to face the day with a smile, I’ve earned a once in a blue moon day of “THIS SUCKS. THIS REALLY SUCKS.” without or without tears and ice cream.
You, my brethren, my fellow crippled punks, no matter where you are or where you are going, I want you to know that you’ve earned that too. Even the earth has been allowed to crumble.
Anger leads to activism.
Activism leads to action.
Do not let them call you bitter. Bitterness is a seed that never blossoms, anger is something that can flourish into a flower of change.
Do not smile for the sake of others.
Smile for yourself. Rage for yourself, and rage on for the rights of others.
I’ve said it once; I’ll say it again:
It is okay to feel angry.
It is okay to feel hurt.
And I’m right here, next to you.
Have a bad day, you deserve it.
All the love in the world,