Not All Disabilities Are Visible

Not a poem today but a post about something near and dear to my heart.

Today, December 3, is the International Day of People with Disabilities 2020, “an annual occasion designated to join together to support people with disability in our communities, and raise awareness of the importance of creating a future where people with disabilities experience equal opportunity and face no barriers in all aspects of their lives— whether it be going about their day-to-day lives with adequate accessibility in their communities, joining the workforce, or being able to showcase their abilities and reach their goals without facing barriers.”

The theme this year is “Not All Disabilities are Visible,” which also “focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.”

I started MorrighansMuse in 2012 after my son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. During that time, I hadn’t written in over eight years but with his diagnosis came so many conflicting emotions and major denial. I wanted to journal everything I was feeling but I just couldn’t. Somehow, I thought a blog would allow me to process them. But instead of posts about living with autism, I wrote mostly about other things stemming from my depression, childhood sexual abuse, the death of my father, and the occasional broken heart. Some poems never see the light of day simply because they are too personal to share, and may be too triggering for some readers. But whether or not I shared them, through this blog I was able to heal, and in the process, be a better human being to everyone around me.

I’m still a work-in-progress, but that’s what life is all about. You keep going.

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, many people are isolated and disconnected, their routines interrupted. Services normally available to those in need have been disrupted as well. It is my hope that today, we can raise awareness for people around us who may be suffering alone, unseen. If you can, please check in on your friends and loved ones, colleagues and neighbors.

You can learn more about International Day of People with Disabilities and how you can help by clicking here.