As I try to figure out how to work while living with a severe debilitating illness, I’m often left with a few thoughts.
I’m extremely capable, and smart. I’m more than just my illness.
It’s easy for me to get down on myself, when I feel like a complete failure because I can’t work a full time job and be where I want to be at 27, but I need to remember how far I have come. I have achieved quite a lot, more than some abled folks I know, and that is worth something.
I am worth something.
Being disabled, people assume you’re worth less than your able bodied counter parts, but in reality we have to work 2x as hard as someone without a handicap. If there is one thing fighting games have taught me, it’s that a handicap doesn’t make you a worse player, it just add’s on more difficulties.
Which is essentially what living with a chronic and invisible disability is like. You have to learn to adapt to the changes, and become stronger while your body just wants to quit. It’s a mental game that able-bodied folks won’t understand unless they really listen.
While my partner has been training in Dragonball FighterZ, I’ve been doing a different sort of training. One that involves doctor visits, tests and medications, and at home rehabilitation. Teaching myself, and getting quality rest to heal the damage that I’ve endured. It’s not sexy or cool. It’s not even fun. It’s tedious, mundane, and there are set backs.
While he might be doing set’s to learn a combo, I have been working on my ability to walk and take care of myself again. The ability to think cognitively. I have to prep for small daily activities so I don’t over do it and have had to learn pacing.
There have been set backs, but I have come a long way. I’m extremely determined to keep fighting, and continue to pace myself. Showing jobs that I don’t need to work a standard amount of 40 hours a week to make the same progress as someone else will be a challenge, but I think I can do something about it.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to pursue freelance work. To be creative and confident that I’ve gotten this far.