When your disability is a bad attitude

Image is of me swinging on my churches a few Christmases ago. I am wearing a camp shirt and sheep pajama pants. I have put Christmas lights my crutches.


For the most part, I am a bubbly happy-go-lucky person. Being extremely introverted, on the autism spectrum, and having anxiety (confirmed general, possible social) this sometimes surprises people. If I don’t know you, I’m ever so quiet. If you do know me, you might wonder if I have an off button and if I know how to use it!

For years and years, I’ve been told the only disability in life is a bad attitude. I can have a good attitude all I want, but smiling at Twizzlers will not make the gluten come out of them. I can be my happy-go-lucky self, but it doesn’t mean that there are days where I have crippling pain. I can laugh and love, but it doesn’t mean I’m not depressed.

To say “the only disability in life is a bad attitude” is inspiration porn and it is ableist. You know what? I don’t have to be happy. When people say that people with disabilities should be happy all the time, well, are you, able-bodied person? Do you have days where life gets you down? We all do.  We all have those days where life gets us down.

If I have a bad attitude, don’t call me out for it. If I have a case of the grumps, don’t tell me to smile. If I seem upset, don’t belittle me. Living life with chronic illness is HARD and I shouldn’t have to live up to your arbitrary use of a “good attitude”.

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