Learning Not to Make Promises When You’re Disabled

One of the most difficult parts of being disabled, I think, is the lack of consistency.

I like consistency. Hell, liking consistency is a trait of a couple of my disabilities (autism and anxiety).

But life is rarely ever consistent when you’ve got a disability (or lots of them…).

You want to say to people “Well, based on my abilities in the past month, I think that this will be possible,” but you have no idea if one month will look like the last.

So, this summer I decided to dedicate myself to righting the ship. Over the past year, I have let a lot of things slide. Writing Autistic updates have been months apart, my YouTube videos have been dead since before Christmas, the fourth Freya Snow book has been pushed back by a month or more…

But it all seemed doable. Once I had my marks and I knew I would graduate with a 2:1, my anxiety dropped off and I had all of the free time in the world until the end of September.

So, I started the Summer Write-a-thon, I started a new Tumblr, I committed to being consistent with my Facebook page, I said I would post videos on YouTube throughout August…

And then last month I got a stomach bug.

Not surprising when you have an anxiety disorder. My immune system is a mess.

It wasn’t really a big deal. I mean, it wasn’t pleasant, and it might have actually been cholera (one of my lecturers had just come back from India with it and I had seen her the day before), but it came and went in a couple of days. The problem was that, while I was vomming up my insides, I couldn’t take one of my medications.

It was only for a couple of days. It shouldn’t have been a big deal, right?

Well, it’s now roughly a whole month later and my medication still hasn’t gone back to doing its job properly. In fact, at this point, I probably would have been better off not taking it at all.

So, now I’m tired all of the time. I’m not physically tired. I can still go for walks to catch Pokemon and I don’t much feel like sleeping. But it’s a mental lethargy. One that feeds into my dyslexia and dyspraxia, making writing coherent sentences a nightmare.

I’m drinking as much caffeine as I dare, to keep my concentration, but too much and I start having panic attacks.

But I’d promised that I would tackle all of these things. Because if my disabilities had stayed in the same state they were in a month ago, I would have been able to do it.

But they didn’t, and now I’m staring at my computer screen, unable to write more than a couple of words. I’m downing Coke Zero, and it’s barely touching me, just fuelling the anxiety around not being able to do things.

It’s one of those odd things that no one really teaches you about being disabled. Learning that there is no consistency. You can’t predict what you’ll be like a week from now. You can guess from outside factors. Obviously, when I go back to uni, I’ll probably have a spike in anxiety for a while. But beyond obvious external factors (that you know are coming) you can’t predict anything. And that can get more than a little frustrating…

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