Welcome to my part of the Blog Against Disablism Carnival, hosted by Goldfish. Please read around, and hear the voices speaking today.

It’s finals right now, and the crisis i’ve faced every semester for years is on me again.

i’m not going to get done on time. i’ve put things off, started late, and failed to show enough internal discipline to make my deadlines. i know i can work this fast, but i never do.

why this has anything to do with disablism is because i have a bit of a reason.

if i don’t pace myself, it’s more than likely that i’ll have panic attacks or have a depressive episode. it’s legitimate, in that i’ve gone to doctors so that they could tell me what i already knew. but for a variety of reasons, medication doesn’t work for me. either it just doesn’t cut it, or it causes one symptom to get worse as it makes the other better. i could be more depressed, or have more panic…but i can’t seem to get both gone. and while the depression slowly robs me of my idenity, and causes me to withdraw into my own world…

the panic isn’t as productive. i can work when i’m depressed. i’ve got the routine down, and i am pretty decent at meeting deadlines and such. i’m a good student, and so i get a fair amount of leeway. being personable, and having a reputation buys me the privilege and favor that i need just to keep up the impression that i’m a good student. i can work, but that’s about it.

the panic attacks are scarier. they put me in the hospital more often. they’re more dangerous. but i prefer them. there. i said it. i am choosing to be sick, if the double jeopardy i’m in counts as a choice.

which is why i feel so deceptive this time of year. i keep pretending that it’s all out of my hand, that there’s nothing i could do to fit the demands of academia.

there is.

but i’m refusing it. it costs too much. and i think in the limited options i have to deal with these circumstances…i have the right to make that call. where does my procrastination end, and the legimitate need for rest begin? am i a slacker, or a person with a disability?

i have to stop asking myself that, like it’s a either or. i’m trying to be the scholar that i want to be. there’s no clear cut manual that can separate out my personality from my brain, my person from my pathology. for better or worse, the depression and anxiety are a part of who i am. how i deal with them, constructively or not, is a part of who i am as well.

and i’ve decided i want to live in a society that gives me the trust to make the choices i can to live around it, to navigate my life with mental illness as best i can. deadlines matter. but not more than the people who care about them. it’s not just a disabilty issue. it’s about the projection that says “other” people fail. it’s about the misrecognition that doesn’t comprehend the ways in which we are all breaking ourselves to fit ideals that don’t fit.

disablism is about enforcing the idea that people need the threat of starvation and ruin to get them to do anything. it’s about the capitolistic fetish with the “laziness” of others. it’s about the fantasy that our limitations are there just to be overcome and elided.

today, i’m going to ask for trust. trust that i can manage my life. trust that i will try, even if i refuse to tear myself apart. trust that starts with myself.

-sly

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