How Becoming a Published Author Helped Affirm My Disability
I just published my first book on January 20, 2020. To say the process was entirely nerve-racking is an understatement. I was in a really dark time in my life and struggling with thoughts of suicide. I was overwhelmed by the dysfunction of family problems, living with a chronic illness and feeling misunderstood 99.9 percent of the time. The only thing that made sense during this emotionally dark and tumultuous time period was to write. I guess you could say writing saved my life. I thought if I were to leave this life, I wanted my story to be told. I wanted to leave something here on this earth. And so I began to write, not knowing this journey would put me on a 10-year path of healing.
The more I wrote, the more I began to cast aside the burdens of my disability. In a way, writing my story not only saved my life, but it affirmed my disability. For such a long time I lived my life under the belief that I was limited because of my disability and chronic illness. I felt trapped behind the label and desperately wanted out. Nevertheless, I continued to write. I continued to jot down every thought from birth to childhood to those awkward years in middle and high school. Reliving those painful moments helped heal me.
The day I decided to become an author was the day I realized my journey was nothing to be ashamed of. My journey mirrored thousands of other voices like mine who deserved to be a part of the canon of literature. Disabled / chronically ill voices have a narrative and perspective to share with the rest of the world. I came to terms with the revelation that my disability was not nuance. It was a beautifully woven together culmination of experiences that shed light on my truth.
Although becoming a published author has been a scary process, it has also proven to be the most rewarding process. It affirmed something in me — “My difference is worth sharing with the world.” Hence my title “Beauty With a Twist: A Girl’s Journey to Hope, Healing and Restoration.”
To every person with a disability / chronic illness: if it is your desire to tell your story, to publish your own narrative, I say go and do it! You’ll not only surprise yourself, but you’ll come out of the process being proud of yourself for letting your difference be revealed to the world.