What You Need to Remember Before Sharing This Disability Shopping Cart Meme

I think we’ve all seen this meme. It shows a disability shopping cart and says, “This is for the elderly and the disabled, not your fat ass.”

meme of motorized shopping cart with text this is for the elderly and the disabled not your fat ass

If you only knew why I am overweight. My weight is just another symptom of my condition. If you were in so much pain you could barely get out of bed, maybe you would understand my need to use a cart when I go shopping. If every move of yours was a chore, maybe you would understand. If your legs felt as if they weighed 100 extra pounds each, maybe you would understand.

I used to be skinny and fit, but my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome has changed me in many ways. The pain, the fatigue and the all over uneasiness that I feel has made me gain weight. I would love to be the person I use to be. I would give almost anything to be that person again, but there is nothing I can do. Exercise is hard for me. I do what I can, but it’s simply not enough. My activity is limited by pain and fatigue.

It’s so hard to do anything at all, much less walk around a store some days. Trust me, I would love to be able to walk among the rest of you, but some days are so hard. I try not to leave the house on those days as I don’t like the judgmental looks I get when I have to use a cart, but some days I simply must. Those looks hurt. They make my guilt that much worse. I feel bad enough; I don’t need your judgment making it worse.

If you could only live a single day in my body, maybe you would learn not to judge others simply by what you see, for you have no idea what they struggle with. However, as bad as you may hurt me with your judgment and looks, I would never wish my pain on you or anyone.

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Boni Wagner-Stafford - Fibromyalgia

Boni Wagner-Stafford is a writer and former award-winning journalist who lives with fibromyalgia.