Sunday, March 21, 2010

Studying disability: my coping skill

Over the last several years, I have picked up a lot of coping skills: amazing friends, meditation, ways of distracting myself, etc. But one of the new ways I am learning to cope with my chronic health problems is by studying the sociology of disability.

When I first started getting migraines, it never crossed my mind to think about them as a disability. But as I started looking for resources on how to cope, I started learning about disability. And the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.

So how the hell is that a coping skill? Because it has changed how I feel about my pain and my life. There is a lot of prejudice and silence regarding disability and chronic illness. And, like most people in this society, I had internalized these things.

As I have been reading, I keep finding sentences that make me feel less alone. That described exactly what I have been going through. And I’m realizing something:

Society is full of disableism. And it affects me every day. The more I read, the more I can see it. The more I can understand the fabric of society, and the disableism and health-biases that are part of this fabric.

And as I understand that, I am gaining confidence. I am breaking the silence. I am envisioning the world and life I want to have, one with less disableism, and I am working towards it.

Now I’m not suggesting this is something that would work for everyone. I am a major sociology dork, and that is not everyone’s jam. But reading about disability and disableism has been incredibly empowering, and that makes it easier to navigate my migraine-filled life.


  1. I LOVE this Assiya...I was getting more amped up with every line :)

  2. Thanks Annie!! That means a lot :)

  3. You make a lot of sense Assiya. Interesting post.

  4. I was told by someone in the Inclusion team at university that a person isn't disabled, it's society, the enviroment and other people make you disabled. I like to think of it that way. :D

    I might have worded that a bit wrong, but I can't tell. I have major mind-fog going on today, sorry! I hope you get the point.