Firstly, I agree with all of the posts above, each has some very valid points.
Pain and it’s impacts have never been clearly understood, especially by those who have never been in such pain. I must admit, I too thought I knew pain. I had a badly broken leg, a compound fracture with the bone poking out of the skin and that was painful, but then I had neurosurgery and… just WOW!!!
Honestly, I didn’t think pain like THAT existed. I’d heard of people having migraines and sure I got headaches before, but post-surgery… just beyond belief. It was exhausting. I found I was micromanaging every part of my life, making little adjustments just to be ‘Normal’ and that was exhausting in itself (Carly is very correct when she says ‘normal is an illusion’). But the more I pushed my limits, the more my body pushed back. I had to learn to accept, accept that my body now ruled. It would tell me ‘Laydown or I’ll put you down’ and if I ignored it and kept pushing it put me down HARD, often taking me days to recover from.
Your lecturer’s understanding of disability merely shows her own ignorance on the subject. Her thinking is like each impairment only acts in isolation ie a physical disability only affects your physical health. Health can not and should not ever be seen in isolation, it can affect everything. I’ve often explained to others “Some like the A+B=C theory. Symptom A + Symptom B = Diagnosis C. But that’s way too simple. For me It’s more like A+B-CxD/E√F… and every one of them is variable…”. Some days I can have such clarity, it’s amazing. But then some days are like walking through treacle.
My advice: Use every resource available to you to your advantage. Those services are put in place to assist. Please don’t be seeing yourself using such services as a humiliation, in fact far from it. Personally, I’d be seeing burning yourself out, trying to reach your goals, without using the services available as a bigger humiliation. Once you’ve proven your criteria for the services you shouldn’t have to repeat that process, but I do admit it can be very confronting having everything on display.
I’m a male. My view was ‘I man, I strong’ (I call it the ‘caveman mentality’) ie ‘I can push through everything…’ but I couldn’t push through this and that really did my mental health no good. I eventually got to a point where I had to ask for help. I went and saw a psychotherapist. This was one of the best things I could have done, only wish I’d done so earlier. It helped me accept my new limitations and to make the needed adjustments to live within these limitations. I wasn’t happy about it all, but if I’d kept going, pushing on through I was only going to fry myself.
Some people can see asking for help as a weakness, but it’s far from a weakness. It shows that you’ve looked at your situation, identified that you need some assistance, then gone seeking such assistance. That’s not a weakness, that’s wisdom.
Merl from the Modsupport Team