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!’
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.