Disability Writing

Inspiration & Marriage Goals

12th September 2018

And so, last week I re-shared an old post about a day in my life as a disabled mother.  Because that’s my every day, it was an OK post, and it was Throwback Thursday. I know it might not be Thursday today, but stick with me.

Within minutes, less time than it would take to actually read the post, I was re-shared with the comment, ‘So inspiring!’

Well, shit.

For what?

Did you actually read the post?’

What is it about my normal, every day life that you find so inspiring?

What has my writing or sharing inspired you to do? Does my life with a disability make you feel somehow better about your own? Don’t tell me that. Don’t make an example of my normal life. Because unless you know me, married me, made me, or I made you, my mere existence on this planet should not inspire you.

Because what have I inspired you to do?

Unless it is to meet people where they are and not glorify disabled people just because we are disabled.

Like people say I’m lovely and stuff, but if you knew me you’d find out I’m actually a bit of a dick.

Take this recent conversation, with Neil, who knows me. Very well.

Me: Dude, someone called me inspiring again.

Neil: What for?

Me: I dunno. Existing.

Neil: But you are inspiring. You inspire me to tear my hair out.

Me: Thanks, babe. Marriage goals.

And I meant it. Because I’m his normal wife (he doesn’t have any others, I checked) and he was being real/sarcastic/real because he gets me.

He didn’t marry my wheels, he married the loveable, infuriating, normal, quirky woman who uses them.

And I haven’t done anything particularly inspiring other than have my child. Which was a pretty big deal, but I’m not superhuman because I can make people, either.

In my mind I haven’t done anything particularly inspiring, and I’m not looking to be congratulated just for getting out of bed and trying to get Isla dressed. I have to do that every day.

I write this blog to normalize and destigmatize disability. Mostly my own, because that’s where my experience is, but I’m an advocate for equal, level access and human rights for all.

I also write to um, inspire others to write their own stories. But I’d be a word-slinger if I wasn’t disabled, it just so happens that I am.

Like for instance, Tiffany told me that something I shared inspired her to write with her whole family.  That’s awesome. Thanks, Tiffany, I’m happy I helped.

Speaking of stories, I’m inspired by any writer and blogger who is more disciplined and ass-on-seat than I am.  That last part is kinda funny, cuz I sit a lot, but you know what I mean.

And you may think I have no filter, but I do, and I love anyone who is able to consistently punch their inner-critic in the face.

And I’m inspired by my child, and my husband, my family, and my friends, for their mere existence, and because they are groovy people, weird, wonderful people. (In case you’re wondering, if I’ve ever called you a dude or told you I love you, I mean it and we’re friends. Hi.)

I’m inspired by Isla’s laugh and constantly trying to make it bubble up.

I like when she’s laughing at home and when she’s laughing at school. Because if she’s at school that means I’m writing.

And I’m inspired by comments like this, from Rosemary who recently tweeted me:

‘I’m not a parent but I do know that disabled parent’s experience is seldom heard and Blogs like yours really help raise awareness and provide some solidarity and support to other parents.’

Thank you. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do. Maybe I should keep going.

What inspires you? What do you want to inspire people to do?

 

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Also published on Medium.

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28 Comments

  • Reply Reflections of an Untidy Mind 12th September 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Organised people, and people who can keep their house clean inspire me. Well they don’t actually inspire me, but I admire them.

  • Reply johnrieber 12th September 2018 at 2:52 pm

    I learned from a previous post that the “I” word isn’t the proper way to refer to your writing – i would say funny, honest and candid – which is what i continue to strive for in my more personal posts – and the great fun it is to go through life with a great partner!

    • Reply Lorna 12th September 2018 at 6:19 pm

      I’ll take that. Thanks, John!

  • Reply Ritu 12th September 2018 at 6:35 pm

    I do love this Lorna!
    I guess some people need to see another person showing they live a normal.life, despite certain restrictions.
    It’s no biggie, but if you’re inspiring others, that’s great!
    Personally I just want to project positivity and happiness, and once this book gets off the mark, my book!!!

  • Reply Carol 12th September 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Inspiring? Sometimes a post will “inspire” me to write a post, maybe with a similar topic, maybe with the same topic, maybe something entirely different. Maybe your commentor was inspired by your “this is just how it is” attitude and living your life the way you want. Or maybe she/he just wanted to comment and that was the word for the day. Whatever. I mostly enjoy reading your posts and your repeats of conversations with Isla, who I suspect is quite precocious.

  • Reply julie @ shorts and longs 12th September 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Anyone who’s showing up for life inspires me. And those who openly and vulnerably share their reality, doubly so. 🙂

  • Reply thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany 12th September 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Not much inspires me. Inspires is probably not a word I use often. I think the only that that truly inspires me is people who paint, It reminds me how much I love it and often does inspire me to start painting again.

  • Reply Snuffy 12th September 2018 at 8:31 pm

    People who are their true selves inspire me. People who follow their dreams inspire me. People who are doing the things I wish I was brave enough to do remind me that if they can do it, so can I. 🙂

  • Reply gemmaorton 12th September 2018 at 8:37 pm

    I’ve always struggled with the word inspiring. Probably because of the context.
    I don’t want to inspire. Maybe encourage. Maybe influence. But I’d be happy just being the norm.

  • Reply rivergirl1211 12th September 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Inspiration is a tough one. I can admire, I can be awestruck, I can be emotionally moved….. but inspired? Rarely. Although that may have more to do with me being a mid menopausal lazy sod than anyone else’s sterling qualities!

  • Reply Jackie Cangro 13th September 2018 at 1:17 am

    I’m trying to inspire (maybe encourage is a better word) writers to tell their stories and that they should be writers 24/7 — not just when they sit at the computer. And an important part of that is being open to the world around them. (Too often we’re buried in our phones or whatever.)

  • Reply jefftcann 13th September 2018 at 4:22 pm

    So not inspiring, but educating, and that’s worth reblogging. I try to be educating with mental illness and Tourettes (but no one ever calls me inspiring and no one reblogs either). When I write about trail running, I try to be inspiring, because I truly want others to be inspired to get outdoors and experience all that nature can throw at you. Even if it’s just an over-humid day. I enjoyed this post.

  • Reply Lutheranliar 13th September 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Hmmm. I guess I’m not that into being inspired. Unless it’s being inspired to laugh so hard I spit my coffee all over my computer. Well, maybe not my computer.

    • Reply Lorna 13th September 2018 at 7:00 pm

      Did I make you do that? Sorry, not sorry, my friend.

  • Reply loristory 14th September 2018 at 7:57 am

    I’m inspired by the 100-year old woman who goes to one of my exercise classes and smiles through all of the routines. It’s her joyous smile that inspires me, reminding me to be happy to be alive.

  • Reply fancypaperblog 14th September 2018 at 8:49 pm

    I would like to inspire people to feel better about their own reality!!
    New word for inspire…mmm….provoke maybe?
    😊 I find good writing can provoke me to habe a go too.
    I find your stories provoke me to be honest about my life too!
    Motivate needs a a new name too.

  • Reply susielindau 17th September 2018 at 1:45 am

    I think your humor and attitude inspired her. I’m a breast cancer survivor. (After five years, I still cringe when admitting that.) I’ve been told pretty often how inspirational I am. All I had to do was live, but I wrote most of my Boob Reports with a sense of humor. There are a lot of people who crumble and feel sorry for themselves. I know people like that, you probably do too. We’re different that way. We see the beauty in life, in love, and family. The simple things.
    (I hope you’re not offended in my comparison.)

    • Reply Lorna 17th September 2018 at 9:31 am

      No, I get you. Like you, I try to find the funny in everything. And just because life is interesting, it’s also fundamentally good. <3

      • Reply susielindau 17th September 2018 at 2:56 pm

        It is! For me, going through setbacks have given me a hyper-focus on my goals and perspective on what’s truly important. I don’t waste time with people who hold me back. 🙂

  • Reply Fatty McCupcakes 17th September 2018 at 4:02 am

    Being called “inspiring” when you’re just living your regular normal can be a bit demeaning, IMO. Thanks for sharing your honest and thought-provoking writing. You’re my favorite.

  • Reply lyricsimone 21st September 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Okay I loved how you kept it real which to me is an inspiration of its own. It is hard to share your story in raw form. So to actually get a understanding from a true point of view is very eye opening.

  • Reply Carol Cassara (@ccassara) 24th September 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Anyone living life against tough odds inspires me. I have friend battling cancer and living fully. They inspire me for sure.

  • Reply aidscholarship 24th September 2018 at 11:32 pm

    I’m inspired by your coolness, really!! Never stop writing, Lorna!

    • Reply Lorna 25th September 2018 at 3:25 pm

      New words up today!

  • Reply Flossie 6th November 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Amen. I get a lot of that too when I make it through another injury, go to my PT, and eventually figure out walking or whatever again. “You’re so inspiring.” What choice do I have, but to live my life and go on despite whatever comes my way? Do I just curl up and die because I broke another bone, or another body part died? (or you, because you happen to be on wheels, or my brother, because he happens to be so severely dyslexic that he still couldn’t write a complete sentence when he got to high school?) No. I suppose we always DO have the choice to curl up and die. But why would we choose that? Just put one foot/crutch/wheel in front of the other and keep going – anyone who finds these “extra challenges” “inspiring” hasn’t faced enough challenges in their lives. Just because my (or your, Lorna) “normal” doesn’t look like other people’s doesn’t mean we don’t live it anyway, day in and day out, dealing with those challenges of parenting and adulting and all else just like everyone else. Meanwhile, you keep your chair maintained and I’ll keep up my maintenance meds (now that we finally know what’s wrong with my body) and my exercises.

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