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How Becoming a Published Author Helped Affirm My Disability

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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.

Originally published: February 3, 2020
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