Hi. I got to thinking about whether or not “the new normal” is a disability or not. That thread covers all of it well. Everyone’s reply was great to see because we are all so different and similar too. My reply there was mostly about my feelings and experiences. What I wonder about now though is in regards to how we plan our life.
By life planning I mean settings goals, structuring the day, and even looking at a 30 year plan for our life. In a lot of ways I’ve benefitted from not thinking about what was realistic. That got me through recovery somewhat easily. “Just Do It” worked pretty well for me. Until it didn’t work hahaha. I mean, that only later, years later that I felt it didn’t work well. The thing is that if my friend came to me an asked for advice on her plan, for her goal setting, and structuring and so on, and she is in the same situation, I would gently and kindly ask about ways that she could consider her life or plan her life more easily given her… ‘new normal’.
But is it easier to say ‘disability’? I have avoided it for years. But nobody knows the ‘new normal’ except us. I don’t feel motivated to teach the world about the new normal any more, at least at the moment. But if I were talking to her and looking at her life plan I would say “Well you are 32 and you can work 30 hours a week and you can’t drive and you can write reports and you can’t handle stress and you can work remotely and by some definition you are disabled in this regard compared to where you are expected to be at your age and so on and so forth… and that you can take all of these things and make a plan. A solid reasonable and realistic plan”. That is the kicker for me. It is simple. If I were helping a friend I would tell her flat out what is probably the best for her given her goals and happiness and so on. I mean, if she asked I would. Well, now I am asking myself what is realistic and good for me hahaha.
Maybe calling it a disability isn’t a sign of hopeless or giving up, but rather it is a matter-of-fact thing like… something to plan around or for. It is not emotional. It doesn’t speak to hopefulness or hopelessness. It is just a word that is an observation. Maybe it is useful for when we get back out into the world so we can just shave off 10 minutes of the conversation explaining ‘the new normal’ and then get to the useful part. Like “put me to the head of the line because I am disabled and I can’t stand there for 20m”, or something to that effect. The thing I like is that people don’t actually care about the details of my life: and why should they? Thank goodness don’t. Do you need to go to the head of the line? OK, here you go. Do you need somebody to help with your bags? Yup? Here you go.
I posted this in the Emotional Support section because this is not me promoting my worldview. Rather it is trying to make sense of it myself :).