15 things only disabled people will understand (get annoyed by).

1. You use a wheelchair. It is not something you’re bound to and is actually just a slightly more convenient way of moving around.

2. Knowing the exact terrain of a certain journey by foot/wheel and precisely where every bump/ramp/jagged bit of concrete is.

3. Also the frustration of trying to find a kerb drop when trying to move on or off a part of the ground/grass.

4. Whilst you might love the idea of a hot sunny day, the thought of your skin on your lower back and legs sticking to your chair fills you with dread.

5. Being known as ‘the person in a wheelchair’ before any of your actual characteristics, but also knowing it’s a quick way to distinguish yourself from others; for instance when booking a hair cut, “I’m the mum in a wheelchair that you saw back in April”.

6. Not being able to watch or partake in simple events/groups purely because there are stairs.

7. Getting annoyed at your own clothes for not sitting right on your wonky body.

8. Denying yourself another cup of tea because the faff of going to the toilet again is too much of an inconvenience and you have other things to be doing.

9. People’s assumptions. Of everything.

10. Other people leaning on the handles of your wheelchair and the mini heart attack you have when you think you might tip back and die.

11. Not being able to visit certain friends’ houses because of the access or lack of downstairs toilet. Tea is always at your house.

12. Being mistaken for the 4th child when turning up at a restaurant with your partner and 3 kids.

13. Hearing waitresses ask your partner if you’d like to stay in your own wheelchair or sit on one of their’s. I can indeed answer that question myself.

14. Having a logical preference for certain types of table legs. And mugs. I’m not even going to bother explaining that and just leave it sounding weird.

For enquiries about collaborations or for other messages regarding my content, please email hellolizzybunton@outlook.com

Follow me for more updates:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzybuntonvlogs/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shopgirlygm

YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/user/shopgirlygm

Blog: https://haveyoutriedwalkinglately.wordpress.com

Advertisements

Has anxiety become fashionable?

worried-girl-413690_1920

I appreciate this might be a risky article to write. Many millions of people suffer with varying degrees of anxiety, either for a short specific episode or a prolonged ongoing time. These people cannot help feeling anxious about certain things, it gets into the very grain of their being, day-in, day-out, and often therapy or medication is needed to learn to cope and manage the feelings and symptoms they exprience.

But lately, I seem to be hearing more and more people saying that they suffer or have suffered with some form or anxiety, for at least one stage in their lives. Maybe it is that these days, it is easier to ‘come-out’ as having anxiety, where it wasn’t before. It is widely known that people suffer from anxiety, depression and other brain-health disorders in silence, perhaps not even telling a doctor or family member through fear of not being believed, or being told to just “pull yourself together”. I say ‘brain-health’ as I truely believe and want others to recognise that mental health diagnoses are as much of a health issue as asthma or coeliac disease for instance. It’s just that although you can’t necessarily ‘see’ the problem, it is physically just as present as many other diagnoses. The problem is that if someone hasn’t suffered themselves, or there isn’t a blood test to cofirm the issue, then people struggle to believe it is most definitely happening, without the choice of the person it is affecting.

I might be one of the many who chose not to let-on about the anxiety I was experiencing after having a baby. I have three children and each time, I have treated the anxiety in different ways. With baby #1, it came as quite a shock. It was, I guess, part of post-natal depression to have anxiety like this. After having my daughter I’d feel so incredibly tense and frustrated by my lack of physical ablities due to my CMT neuropathy, that even though I knew exactly what my hands/arms could and could not do, I became severely affected by the thoughts of other peoples’ perceptions of my parenting and also about having to ask other people to do so much for my own baby. After all, nobody would do things exactly like I would if I could. I focused and obsessed over tiny things that were ‘wrong’ and everything seemed to make me want to lock myself in the bathroom and not have to ‘parent’ in front of others, especially those who knew me. With baby #2, I suffered simillarly for a few months before finally going to the doctor 4 months postbirth. With baby #3 I had the foresight to think ‘well this is probably gong to happen again isn’t it’, and even though I was absolutely rubbish at just sayong “hey, this is how crap and anxious I’m feeling”, people were aware a lot earlier and I was slightly better at normalising it, for myself and for others.

get-me-out-1605906_1920.jpg

So has it become less taboo to talk of your own serious anxieties, and by that I don’t mean being afraid of cliff-edges or big spiders – I mean things that are completely irrational, unexpected perhaps, and most of all uncontrollable to an extent? Or has claiming to have a severe case of anxiety become a get-out clause, an excuse maybe, to get out of things you’d rather not have to do? After all, people aren’t supposed to deny your anxiety, are they?

Are some teenage girls who would rather not play netball in school and have an excusing note from their mum, undermining the true experiences of the 15 year-old with crippling body dysmorphia who would rather jump off a bridge than have to show their legs off to fellow students and teachers? Is she going to be told “sorry, everyone has to join in”? Shouldn’t we be more lenient about what they can wear, or is it one-rule-fits-all?

I have always hated having to speak in front of groups of people. I remember even as a 7-year-old in Brownies, the moment when you’ve not long joined the club and you have to say the ‘Brownie-Guide Law’, I stood there and started crying and my mum had to say the words for me. Suddenly the idea of all-eyes-on-me was horrific. Since then I’ve detested it, it makes me feel physicallt sick and I will go out of my way not to do it even if it means being the only one who doesn’t play a part in a presentation. I get red-faced, my eyes start watering and I lose the ability to make the right amount of eye contact. However I also know that other people have it way worse than me, and cannot even speak to a cashier in the supermarket for example. So should college lecturers and workplace managers stop asking people to speak up in a group, because many people might be ‘too shy’, when really it might be only one or two who are suffering some form of actual anxiety?

It is difficult really, because whilst more needs to be done to help support those of us who are genuinely anxious and distressed about things that we really would prefer to experience, should we really label more and more kids as having anxiety because they haven’t got many friends or don’t want to say lines in tbe school play, and should we make physical education less integral to the curriculum incase school-aged adolescents feel embarrassed wearing a sports’ kit?

There is certainly a fine line between knowing whether to help somebody through anxiety by allowing them not to do something which might mentally distress them, and just saying “you’ll be okay, come on, let’s do this”. I worry that it’s becoming ‘cool’ to say you have anxiety, similar to when people say “oh I’m so OCD”, when they admit to not wanting people to get crumbs on their sofa.

What do you think? Have you had true anxiety? How have you treated it, and who did you tell?

Yours anxiously,

@shopgirlygm