I'm afraid of letting my disability define me, but more than that, I'm afraid of down-playing it, because 1) that does a disservice to others with disabilities, and 2) my loved ones won't understand that when I turn down an invitation or take an Ativan or the elevator or flake at the last minute, it's not because I'm lazy or being difficult-- it's because I sometimes require different aids or am anxious or my fatigue is debilitating. This makes me feel guilty and less-than and like a bad friend. The guilt and anxiety and my symptoms are things I'm working on, but I fear that isn't enough: I feel like a fake. I'm not in a wheelchair. I don't have cancer. My agoraphobic tendencies aren't full-blown agoraphobia.
Am I a fraud? Does applying for ODSP (provincial disability aid) make me greedy? Am I fool for thinking I'm part of the differently-abled community, and will be welcomed with open arms? Am I making a big deal out of nothing?
Most of the time I know I have no dishonest motives. I do need help. And I am trying.
This shit is hard. I just pray it will make me stronger.