The Mixed Emotions I Feel During Invisible Disabilities Week
It’s officially Invisible Disabilities Week! And although this is one of the most anticipated weeks for myself and others with invisible disabilities, it comes with many mixed emotions for me.
This week can be incredibly frustrating for me. Outside of the disability community, I hear absolutely nothing about Invisible Disabilities Week. While my school makes a big deal about some conditions such as breast cancer and autism, no one there seemingly cares about or probably even knows about Invisible Disabilities Week. It can be a huge reminder to those of us with less well-known disabilities that outside of our community, no one really cares much about us.
However, this week also makes me very happy. Invisible Disabilities Week can be a huge unifier among the disability community. Some of my friends with disabilities and I celebrate the first day of Invisible Disabilities Week just like able-bodied people celebrate New Year’s or Valentine’s Day. During this week, many disabled people work up the courage to share their stories, which connects many disabled people together. Invisible Disabilities week knits the entire disability community closer together.
Living in two different worlds can be tough, especially during Invisible Disabilities Week. In the land of the disabled, Invisible Disabilities Week is a huge celebration and bonding experience. However, in the land of the able-bodied, life continues on as usual and nothing special happens. Maybe someday Invisible Disabilities Week will be just as well-known among able-bodied people. But until then, I will continue spreading awareness in the land of the able-bodied while celebrating in the land of the disabled.
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Thinkstock photo by Shironosov.