Disabled or not disabled? That is the question…

Despite various struggles that I face daily, I’ve never felt like a disabled person. Certainly not in everyday life anyway.

Sure there are events, specific jobs (like the online food shop which I find so hard and the only reason i do that is because I can’t cope with being in the actual shop to do it 🤦‍♀️) and times where I feel the full affect of having autism and adhd. I annoy people, i panic, I don’t enjoy the same things that others do. But on a day to day basis those struggles haven’t stopped me in my tracks. Until now.

Before Kiddo came along I went to university, I had a career and I socialised all the time. Then when I became a mum all that changed as I dedicated myself to someone else in a way I have never had to do before. Everything became a tiny bit harder, but I carried on and just assumed that was what being a mum was.

Then lockdown happened, and my whole world was turned upside down. Days like I have had today have thrown the fact that autism can absolutely be a huge debilitating disability into stark reality. I didn’t have a panic attack, I didn’t have a meltdown. For me it was actually worse than that. I literally could not function.

I woke up in a good mood, but my morning routine and calm was promptly destroyed by kiddo breaking several wooden slats on the bed in our spare room. No big deal, the bed is going this week anyway but the problem was that kiddo made a fun game out of jumping into the gap. The A&E sign flashed before my eyes. I spent the next hour searching for Allen keys, screwdrivers and spanners and took the bed apart. Kiddo was not impressed he couldn’t get in the room and I needed to at least make it safe. And that was it. Game over for me. My brain, ever so quietly, completely overloaded.

I sat glued to a chair for an hour, then my husband found me stood in the kitchen frozen to the spot and staring into space. I didn’t know why I was in there. I wanted desperately to clean it but couldn’t work out how to. My whole body felt so heavy I felt as though my legs might give way. He sent me to bed.

I spent 3 hours sleeping it off.

When I woke, I got up and loaded the dishwasher without a problem. But how many hours had I lost to brain overload? What skills had disappeared and what abilities had departed my brain? It was actually quite scary.

This is the effect that months of lockdown has done to me. Yes we are out and about now but the unpredictable future means I cannot relax.

People often ask me if they see autism as a disability. I say it’s different for every person. My answer for me used to be that it can make things more difficult to overcome. Right now though, I feel like I have a disability and that’s ok.

One thought on “Disabled or not disabled? That is the question…

  1. I don’t really feel like I have a disability. But I do sometimes feel like like I have something dragging me. You know how competitive skaters train with a parachute out behind them so they have to work harder. Some days that chute is so big that it’s hard to get any traction on anything.

    Like

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