Tag: hidden disability

A SAD state of affairs

It seems flaky to admit it, but the weather is screwing with my mood. I didn’t think I was ever going to admit to anything like Seasonal Affected Disorder. However the weather here in Sydney lately has been so crazy and humid like I think I have to.

I recognise though that SAD and other similar disorders are usually associated with cold and bleak weather. I thought after visiting England I had escaped the most likely place. But I’m now thinking humidity with dark cloud cover like we have been having might in fact be worse.

The humidity has left me with a persistent low grade headache and a lethargy that is more frustrating than debilitating. Strangely I don’t feel hot; more bothered. I don’t crave more cool. I want more dryness to the heat.

Last Friday, I had a drink with a friend of mine who teaches music one day a week to kids from “disadvantaged” schools. I love listening to and enjoying a wide range of music but music classes (apart from choir practise for me) were always a bit wild and laid back when I went to school, worse still on a Friday, and worse again when taught by a substitute teacher. My hats off to JA.

However, I digress.

There was a thunderstorm right in the middle of JA’s most animated class which she thought increased the animation. We discussed the literal energy that causes the animation, not just in kids but perhaps in all of us. The floating of the ions in a more tangible form that both loosens and tightens folk up. Perhaps in a similar way to that of alcohol and drier heat. As adults, on the whole we are perhaps less sensitive and maybe more aware of such phenomena.

My impression is however that it does affect most of us to some extent. Fuses are shorter. We seem to run the dualism of being both less expressive when it comes to engagement with others and much more so when it comes to our own needs and impression. We think less. When mental and social resources are made finite we look inwards and must work harder to gather the strength we need.

So perhaps people have loud balcony parties to cut the think air with the beat that gives them comfort and perhaps control, without the energy to acknowledge the impact of the noise on those close enough to hear but far enough to be excluded.

Perhaps the extra energy in the air explains the very loud dog fight outside my window with no apparent cause. What “charge” is being picked up that we cannot sense…

Yet on the other side of the world, the storyteller has the more typical interpretation:

It’s not so much the early dark in the afternoons that I dislike. ……No, what I hate is having to wake up in the dark, and get up in the dark, and go out to say Morning Prayer in the dark, looking up at a black east window in the church.

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identity matters

This is a good post about identification as a person with a disability, for a women with a mental health issue.

It brings up some interesting thoughts for me about “what actually is disability?” That’s medical vs social model stuff, but its not just that. Its about the labels we as people with impairments use to define and describe ourselves. What boxes we put ourselves in and how easily or not we communicate with those in the other boxes of disability.

I find myself now straddling two of those boxes more often these days. So now the whole question is “to tell or not to tell” is a live question where before I did not really understand it; except as I defended theoretically an individuals right to non-disclosure. I could not understand, untill recently how people could choose not to “give details” and yet still want to use the political, social and practical elements that come with the tag. i fought for the right to non-disclosure  because it is an option and I’m all for individual choice. I have many friends with non-aparent and often non disclosed disabilities whose choice I respected. As is often the case though it is not until one is given the choice that one is aware one has a choice….

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la vie passionnée

In one line, she challenged me.
With 6 words she made me stop and reconsider.

I have been challenged today. Challenged away from advocacy to participation. True participation. The embracing of life.. Beyond all the rhetoric I have been sprouting about living for the now.


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