Disability.

Posted: September 21, 2018 in Postcards from Cancerland., Uncategorized
This is going to sound crazy but…
This journey that I find myself on has been like a sunrise in a story filled sky, raising up and casting light on things that I never knew or noticed.
It has illuminated the everyday struggles of others.
It has caused me to wake up to things that I was clueless about.
It has awakened empathy.
I have walked in OTHER shoes, I have seen OTHER struggles…
In the beginning, as we started looking at the weeks of treatment, fatigue and other fun side effects, recovery, low immunity, and weekly appointments, it became pretty clear that I wasn’t going to be able to do my job the way that it deserves to be done.
If I worked the way I needed to, I wouldn’t be able to heal.
If I healed the way I needed to, I wouldn’t be able to work.
I chose healing.
So, I’m on short term disability and I’m thankful to work at a place that provides that.
The disease and its cure have done a number on my body, there are things that I can’t physically do right now. So much of my past identity has been found in art and cartoons, right now I can’t draw.
I am unable.
So I find myself disabled.
I’ve worn many labels in my life.
This is the first time I’ve knowingly carried the disable label.
It is limiting.
It is a cage.
It makes me wrestle with thoughts that I’m not enough.
I struggle with guilt and insecurity.
Comparison sucker punches me in the psyche.
In a performance based society, I’m suddenly found lacking.
I’m not able.
Here is what I’ve learned from walking in these shoes…
During this season, I carry a label that reads disabled.
That does NOT make me less.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t have anything to offer.
It simply means there is SOMETHING that I can’t do.
The flip side is there are a lot of OTHER things that I can do.
So technically, I’m OTHERabled.
So I flip the label…I am OTHERabled.
I find the OTHER things that I can do right now and THAT is what I do.
I don’t compare myself to others or even to the previous me.
I concentrate more on who I am than what I do.
This journey has illuminated the everyday struggles of others.
It has caused me to wake up to things that I was clueless about.
It has awakened empathy.
I have walked in OTHER shoes, I have seen OTHER struggles.
I know and love people who have been labeled disabled.
For many, it’s not short term, it is something that they’ve carried for a lifetime.
It’s easy to let the labels make you feel left behind, less, and limited.
It’s hard not to compare yourself to others or to the previous you.
I know beautiful, productive people who have been been burdened with the disable label.
But, what if we flip the label?
What if we were to ignore the disable label?
What if we get our eyes off what we can’t do?
Let’s focus on the OTHER.
What are you able TO do?
What ability has God given you that makes your spirit soar?
Let’s open the cage.
Let’s celebrate the amazing, unique OTHER that we CAN do.
OTHER is beautiful.
OTHER is unlimited.
I now live OTHERabled.
I now live OTHERaware.
I pray that it’s not short term.

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