Unconventionally Disabled

http://suzyq03.tumblr.com/post/59380750485/unconventionally-disabled

Disability comes in many forms. Stereotypically it comes in the form of an evident physical or mental feature that differs from the norm. However, in amongst the so-called ‘normal’ people, hide silent sufferers of invisible illnesses unsure of whether to label themselves as having disabilities.

I have been ill for ten years-nearly a third of my life. As a general concept I wouldn’t consider myself to have a disability. I’m just unwell. But is that how people with a labelled disability also see themselves? Not disabled-just unwell.

A question was asked today by another sufferer of a similar invisible illness to mine as to whether we should be considered to be disabled based on our limited capabilities. My first thought was ‘No, I’m not disabled’. But then I thought about it a moment longer and then I wasn’t so sure.

I don’t always stand up for someone older than me on public transport purely because I know I would risk collapsing if made to stand for too long. I am aware of some of the looks I get because I’m a young, fit looking person, but I feel entitled to sit based on my condition.

So does me having a reason to stay seated mean I’m disabled? And how to I explain myself so as not to be judged. Or should I not have to explain myself?

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