The world is diabolical. It’s unfriendly, fast paced, and just recently a new virus, Covid-19, that the world was not ready for, and protests that seem to be on a continue cycle of good versus evil, to name a couple of examples, such as, protests that want some of the aspects of the world changed, the #MeToo movement and Black Lives Matter movement
I would like to share my story and the stigma that comes along with having Chronic Illness and a disability, by sharing some of my experiences. I went to my local SPCA, wanting to adopt a kitten. I was meeting all of them, One of the workers came in, she started asking my support worker whether I could look after a kitten, completely snobbing me, and trying to make out I was to “disabled” to care for a kitten, just because I couldn’t get myself up of the floor! I was infuriated, and hurt, as it felt like I was being discriminated against for my disability. My doctor accepted my application for a disability parking permit. Many times I have had looks of disbelief that I have the permit, Many seem to think you can get a disabled parking permit, just for anything, as I look completely ‘fine’ and that I’m being lazy, or people walk a lot faster than me and push past me, I have been pushed off a bus, because I was going “too slow”
I want to challenge my readers, and suggest that you stop looking at those with chronic illness and disability as weak, but teach you that despite our hardship we still get up off our arses and do life while dealing with our own bodies as well as others who get up without disability and illness. We are not weak, we are strong!
My definition of resilience is ‘the ability to realise and recognise life’s challenges, and be able to respond to those challenges with action, while remembering your choice to inspire and teach others from your experience.’
The four R’s of resilience
Realise that your body responds physically, emotionally, and spiritually, realise that world events will have impact on your life, and realise, whether you can go through life on your own or that you will need to ask for help, by connecting with others, such as joining a community.
Recognise “this is how my body reacts” How does stress affect your body, and think about how you could minimise the stressors for next time, for the better. What will be helpful? What do I need?
Respond what would be your next step? Is it therapy, Community, Church, process with others. Take action.
Remember how and what you did to respond to that hard place. Are you focusing on the negatives, or can you use your experiences and teach others what you have learnt?
My Story on how I have used the four R’s.
I’ve used the four R’s as my way to get through all of my life’s trauma of being diagnosed with various illnesses, and living with disability.
I realised that I needed to make changes to my life, resting when my body is tired and stressed
I recognized what triggers flare ups of each illness and I have worked towards minimising a flare.
I responded by asking questions and doing some research myself, and hearing others stories who live with the same chronic illness, which has been a great way to create my sense of belonging.
I remember how hard, and uncertain it was to be diagnosed with Chronic Illness.
Resilience is important in today’s society, as the world is unforgiving, especially those of us with chronic illness and disability. We need to fight for our need to be accepted and respected!