The Truth About Disability

I’ve long not been proud to have a diagnosis.

What happened to me in my twenties is what it is and that’s it.

I had a breakdown followed by a relapse close to five years later.

Yes–I want to laugh when a person who hasn’t met me lumps me into a category of people they tell to “check your privilege.”

The only privilege I had in life was to be diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 22 years old.

I didn’t graduate from Harvard. I haven’t won a Nobel Peace prize like Toni Morrison did. I didn’t do anything exceptional.

What I did when I was 23 and shunted into a mental health system:

I dared to assert my right to have a full and robust life.

I’m 53 now and have been a mental health Advocate for over 15 years so far.

I believe in my vision of Recovery for Everyone, from whatever it is a person is in recovery from.

The goal I had for myself in 1987 was to make a full recovery.

My goal I have today is to help others heal, recover, and have their own version of a full and robust life.

Everyone should be given the right treatment right away. Everyone should be given this treatment so that they have an equal chance to recover fully or significantly improve.

Getting denied treatment is the root of the progression of disability for too many people whose lives are lost to chronic illness.

Getting the right treatment right away can stop a person from becoming permanently disabled.

The truth about disability is that it’s not ever fun or useful or life-improving for those of us so unfortunate to have a chronic medical condition.

Those of us living in this never-ending hell aren’t happy to have a disability.

This is why I’m going to give a thumbs down to Kanye West.

Today he has stated that he has bipolar and “it’s awesome” to have bipolar.

Kanye has told the world that bipolar “isn’t a disability.”

Funny when you’re a famous multi-million-dollar singer you can check yourself into a mental hospital for “exhaustion.”

Kanye and Wooten and their ilk claim that symptoms like mania are actually personality traits that enable them to do great things.

Really? Most people with bipolar are in unremitting pain because of their yo-yo symptoms that have only disabled them.

No. I won’t ever be proud to have a disability.

No. I’d rather not take medication. Only I have to in order to do great things.

Kanye should be concerned about his children.

With one parent with bipolar the odds are something like 15 to 35 percent that your kid will develop bipolar.

No kidding. What part of having a disability is so great?

 

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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