I hate saying the phrase “I am disabled,” because I can walk, talk, go to the bathroom myself, shower myself, dress myself. Physically I am capable – if terrible shape, I can still do most things for myself without asking for help.
My disability comes in the form of mental health issues, I deal with sadness almost exclusively, the only time that I am not truly sad is when I am talking to my girls from around the world, of which I thankfully have many today.
I have an excellent support system of women from around the globe who give me a place to go and dump my emotions when I need to, but that doesn’t change that the way my brain works is different then the way that other people’s brain works.
I often feel like I am in a prison of my own making, a great portion of this thought comes from the fact that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and can’t go anywhere, but if I am honest that acknowledgement has only made the feeling of being imprisoned more acute.
The sadness that I feel every day comes from PTSD, and it causes anxiety, and stresses me out when I am out in public. Not two days ago I was at a grocery store for the first time in weeks, and I had a panic attack, I lost my breath and I ended up falling to the floor scaring everyone who saw what happened.
I ran away like a coward completely shamed by the fact that I had taken such little care of myself up to this point, knowing full well that because I’ve been spending so much time focusing on healing my mind, I have spent very little time focusing on healing my body.
If anything I let my body go, I stopped caring, because in my world I am only capable of taking care of one thing at a time. The garbage has to go out but the kitchen is messy? I’ll choose one of those things because it’s easier, and even then it’s still difficult as hell.
I can’t stop this from being my reality, I can only focus on doing what I am capable of at the moment, and that is never enough for the people in my life who have the power to decide where I end up.
For almost a year and a half I was on “out patient care”, because I had become completely unable to communicate what happened to me properly, when I finally tried, they called me psychotic. I am not psychotic I am tired.
I am emotionally drained from years of just trying to survive, of hoping, and wishing, and believing that life was going to get better, only for me to start to open up to the possibilities and then smacked down by reality.
Like many of you my life has been incredibly difficult, not better or worse than yours, just challenging in different ways. I am not a hero, I am not a person you should be looking up to, I am just trying to be someone who keeps a record of my time here, in hopes that it helps someone, namely myself, get better.
My mental health issues make it hard for me to communicate with other humans, I have a hard time being touched, and it often triggers me in ways that I am rarely ever ready for. The thought of being surrounded by people every single day makes it difficult for me to decide to go and get a “real” job, which is why LMBG has become my job.
The thought of leaving my house stresses me out, unless I am so stressed out that I can’t stay inside, and I am never comfortable in my own skin. Being me, is incredibly exhausting and I know that there are many of you who understand what that feels like.
But we deal with it, we pretend that we’re okay, we lock away our emotions, and we do whatever we have to do to get through the day so that at the end of it we can close our eyes in hopes that we might get a few hours of sleep to give us space from the pain of trauma and anxiety, and it doesn’t always work.
I am grateful to the women in my life for inspiring me, pushing me, challenging me, and keeping me accountable. I am grateful to my mom who has been here to support me in ways that I didn’t know I needed, or that I didn’t know she was capable of.
Life is better because I finally stepped up and said “I need help,” because drowning just wasn’t an option for me. I dropped under the water a little bit, but when push came to shove I found anchors to help lift me up, not everyone can say that.
Not everyone has a support system to pull them out of the darkness, not everyone has the ability to reach out for help when they need it, or the abilities to recognize that they need help at all. It’s a skill, asking for help, and it’s not one that we’re all taught equally.
But we’ll learn because learning is the goal, it’s always been the goal, learning to be better, stronger, better, smarter, faster, we just gotta get through today, and then tomorrow, but our focus ONLY has to be on “this day” “this moment,” because that’s what we’re capable of handeling.
And that’s okay. It’s perfectly okay for my mental health to be my disability, and it’s perfectly okay for you not to understand it, but it’s not okay for you to ignore it, or ridicule it, or make me feel ashamed for not being as strong as you think that I should be.
Yes I am emotionally disabled, and I am working to make those muscles stronger, and more powerful, but I respectfully ask you for patience as I learn how to do that, because I don’t have the answers yet, I just know what the questions are.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall