I Can Do Something: Activism, Disability, and Community

3 mins read

I started using Twitter not long  after 45 took office. I needed to find like-minded people to commiserate with. And boy did I find them! But after a while I wanted to do more than Tweet. I wanted connection, real life activism.

I have a disability. Fibromyalgia has ruled my life for 16 years. It’s like living with a little dictator. Telling me constantly that I can’t do this or that, reminding me how much pain I will be in if I overdo.

And over the past five years, little by little, I withdrew. Social engagements? Never. I rarely left the house. Anxiety, depression and fibromyalgia literally shut me off from society. I became a hermit. And the longer it’s gone on the harder it is to step up and out.

Yes I tried to stay politically active and do my part by emailing and calling my Senators and Representatives. I’m proud of what I’ve done there. But I wanted to do more. I told myself that maybe if I pace myself I can do more! But I’ve lived in my shell a long time. It’s hard to take that first step.

But I did it. I was among the protesters on Impeachment Eve.  And then I attended one of Senator Wyden’s Town Halls. These were my first steps to freedom. I also rallied on a corner for No War with Iran.

And I found people to have coffee with. Like minded people who wanted to do more. We all want to be a part of changing our country and holding tightly to our democracy.

It wasn’t easy for me. I almost bailed on the No War rally. I told myself it was cold. I was already hurting. I would hurt more later. But then I heard co-workers talking about plastic. One of them said we need to be concerned and do something. The other man said, “I don’t care about anyone but myself”. 

I honestly was shocked by it. It made my decision. I do care. I CAN make a difference. And so can you. Maybe you can’t march. Maybe your disability makes some things just impossible to do. But do as much as you can, when you can. I promise it will be worth it.

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