Alyson Rogers

@alyson-rogers | contributor
Alyson is a brain injury survivor and has had multiple concussions. She lives and works in St. Catharines, ON as a Child and Youth Mental Health Counsellor. Alyson is a certified yoga teacher and teaches at a local studio. Alyson enjoys biking, reading, practicing yoga and hiking.
Alyson Rogers

Tips for Doing Yoga After a Brain Injury

As a brain injury survivor and a yoga teacher, one of the most common questions I am asked is which poses help with specific brain injury symptoms. The list of complaints is long: headaches, nausea, anxiety, depression, attention span, insomnia, fatigue, spatial sense, etc. I do my best to make a recommendation and inadvertently offer a glimpse of hope that this will be the thing that works. I get why people ask this question; brain injury recovery includes very vague concepts like time and rest. We often desire and at times are desperate for something tangible for symptom management. Existing treatments for brain injury have no guarantees and rarely get us back to our former selves. Even the most accepting of survivors can’t help but jump at something that may help. Yoga has been a game-changer after a brain injury and five concussions; I came to the mat somewhere between head injury numbers four and five, and now have an (almost) daily practice. I completed Yoga Teacher Training and teach at a local studio in my community of Niagara Falls, ON. I’ve written, been a guest on podcasts and shared with others how much yoga has helped me as a brain injury survivor — but not in the way you may think. When I answer the common question of which pose will help with a specific symptom, it suggests that I base my practice around which poses I can use for symptom management. While I do have a few go-to poses for things like headaches, I rarely structure my practice around which poses will directly relieve or improve a particular brain injury symptom. When I first started practicing yoga, I began with poses from the very few (maybe two?) yoga classes I’d been to in my life. I didn’t know any of their benefits but I did know they felt good. Over time, I started noticing I felt less fatigued, I had fewer headaches, I was less anxious, and I slept better and wasn’t bumping into things as much. I also noticed I was more flexible, I was stronger and I was able to move my body into advanced poses. I credited yoga for a lot of the improvements I saw in my brain injury health during this time, but not because certain poses resulted in fewer symptoms. It was never about the pose. It didn’t matter which pose I did because what was happening on my mat was bigger than which shape my body was taking. Simply being on my mat and practicing any kind of yoga pose allowed me to be active again in a way that respected my limitations, gain confidence and be kinder to myself and feel good in my body — which is a challenge when you experience brain injury symptoms most hours of the day. I had been a year-round athlete before my brain injury, but couldn’t find my groove again within exercise due to symptoms and feeling discouraged when I couldn’t do something. Yoga was exercise that didn’t judge if I couldn’t do something; no matter how I was feeling on a given day, there was always something I could do. Yoga taught me to accept my brain injury as is and not beat myself up when symptoms flared up. I learned to listen to my body and rest when I needed to without shame. I could lay in child’s pose and that was enough for yoga. The best yoga pose a brain injury survivor can do is one that feels good. It doesn’t matter which pose you do as long as your brain and body like it. No two brain injuries are alike and that truth exists on the yoga mat. There are poses that are recommended for symptoms I have that my body says no to and there are poses I love doing that you would think wouldn’t be the best for a person with a brain injury (*cough* camel *cough*). It was never about the pose and it still isn’t about the pose; the best yoga pose you can do for a brain injury is getting on your yoga mat. The rest is up to you and your brain!

Alyson Rogers

Yoga Lessons for Life With a Brain Injury

In December 2018, Suzan Colón put a callout on social media for a 30-Day Yoga Challenge. This challenge wasn’t like others where we post pictures of poses every day. This was a challenge to form an online Sangha — a group of like-minded people, usually walking the same spiritual path — and go through the yoga tools in her book “Yoga Mind” together. I had started reading the book and connected with Colón on Instagram through my Yoga and Brain Injury account. She commented on one of my posts one day asking if I was in — of course I was in! Colón had been asked by people world how to do the program as a group; she announced it and then figured it out in her “flew by the seat of [her] proverbial yoga pants” style. She described the social media posts of participants as “creative, beautiful and heartfelt.” I would describe her online Sangha as an amazing accomplishment that reached and connected people all over the world. Fast forward to January 31; I had finished the #YogaMindJanuary2019 Challenge, learned about yoga tools, e-met some amazing people and discovered a lot about my 10-year-old brain injury. The last part I did not expect. In “Yoga Mind,” Colón takes her readers through 30 principles based on the eight limbs of yoga, and goes beyond the Western notion of yoga only being a physical practice (Asana). Each chapter gently guides readers to look at their lives and take their yoga practice off the mat. She guides readers by telling her own story of practicing yoga with her friend Franceso, who was paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury. I had always associated yoga with physical postures (Asana). When I bought Colón’s book, I had a basic understanding that doing the physical practice of yoga had mental, emotional and spiritual benefits, but was unaware of how we can practice yoga in every moment of our lives and in every breath we take. I was also unaware of how I was walking around in the world after my fifth and sixth concussions — unhappy and unhealthy. After 10 years in the world of brain injury, I thought I had a positive outlook on my post-injury life. Through learning about Ahimsa (non-harming), I realized I only held this positive outlook on relatively symptom-free days. On symptom-full days, I was resentful, frustrated and felt a lot of shame. I was also hurting myself by not taking the time I needed for my brain to heal. I’ve never taken the full amount of time off work I needed after a concussion and continued to work through my worst health moments. I may be a little stubborn. I thought I was being strong when I was actually causing harm to myself. In learning about Saucha (cleanliness: purity but not perfectionism), I was able to acknowledge what was serving me in life and what wasn’t. Satya (compassionate honesty) helped me uncover anxiety and feelings I had about the workplace where I sustained the majority of my head injuries. By learning about these tools, I was able to walk away when the time came to quit my job. I acquired my brain injury at age 16; this is what I’ve known my entire adult life and I’ve never taken the time to truly feel the losses but also the victories. I’m not afraid of my brain injury because I’ve done this for a long time. Titiksha — the capacity for enduring difficulties and the strength that comes from knowing you can endure — allowed me to look at what I have and continue to overcome. Tapas — viewing painful experiences as opportunities to learn and grow — allowed me to look at my strength in a more meaningful way that honored what each concussion has taught me in life. I had the opportunity and honor to speak to Colón about her book. When asked which chapter she would recommend to a person with a disability she said: “Day 9, Maitri (kindness), where Francesco and I discuss what Swami Satchidananda said about how we are ‘not the body, not the mind.’ We live in a culture where there’s tremendous identification with a physical structure that is in change every day, and a mind that can be influenced by all the information coming at it. We need to remember there is something deeper than that, the true self. We are not this ever-changing body or this ever-changing mind. This was tremendously helpful to Francesco, and the news comes wrapped in a message of kindness. I think that’s the most important starting point: kindness, compassion, love. From these we can derive great strength that can help us deal with the day-to-day stuff of being differently abled. It’s challenging, and it’s doable when we exercise the power of love.” The final day of the Yoga Mind program is Sraddha, which means faith. Colón describes a beautiful surfboard analogy for life that tied all the self-study and feelings about my brain injury from the past 30 days together. Her analogy was that life is like surfing; we all fall off our boards but that’s why they have tethers. The tethers are our hope and faith that we will be OK. This book put a lot of feelings about my disability that I had masked with optimism in front of my face, demanding to be addressed. “Yoga Mind” opened my eyes to them and provided me with the tools to address them with humility and honesty. Brain injury is a full time job in many ways and I’m grateful to have 30 new tools to use every day. Reading “Yoga Mind” and looking at my life with a disability hasn’t made me any less optimistic, but my optimism is now based in honesty. Everything isn’t OK; I have brain injury symptoms daily, multiple concussions that have not healed and I’m afraid what another will do. Everything isn’t OK, but I’m OK because I have faith and optimism in myself, my brain and I’m able to exercise the power of love.

Alyson Rogers

Badass With a Brain Injury

On April 10, 2018, two things happened; I started taking medication for my brain injury and I heard Drake’s “Nice for What” for the first time. The combination of these two completely unrelated events gave me my personality back after feeling like a shell of a brain-injured human being for quite some time. Within my 10-plus years of having a brain injury, I experienced some of the worst physical symptoms I’ve ever had from November 2017 to April 2018. Between the symptoms, looking unwell, doctor’s appointments and desperately looking for answers and treatment, I felt like a “sick” person more than I ever had before. This period of my brain injury not only took a toll on my body physically, but it also greatly impacted my personality. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t bring myself to feel as happy as I used to be. I tried to continue to be my “sunshine” self, but every episode of symptoms impacted my mood. When you don’t feel well and don’t feel like yourself, you may make decisions throughout your day that you usually wouldn’t make. I became quiet and complacent in my life; this included my dating, friendships and work life. I was allowing the men I was dating to treat me in ways that wouldn’t fly before, friends to disappear when I really needed them and my slow reactions impacted my work. Cue meds and Drake. I started taking a prescription drug that calms your body. In my case, it calmed my brain and nervous system that was going haywire daily with physical symptoms. The song “Nice for What” by Drake focuses on female empowerment, being independent, working hard and not needing to be nice to any man just for the sake of being nice. The music video features diverse women doing what they love and being badass. Within a week, I experienced a huge decrease in symptoms and a huge increase in “Nice for What” attitude. I took my meds every morning, put Drake on my iPod and strutted off to work with the same sass, attitude and personality I had before. My filter was gone in the best way; I dropped men who were no good for me, was honest with friends and was more direct in all aspects of my life. While some looked at me like meds and Drake had created a little monster, I felt like myself again, but better; everything in my life felt healthier including my body, mind, boundaries and relationships. It’s been almost six months since this happened and I still take medication and listen to “Nice for What” almost daily. It serves as a reminder of the badass with the brain injury I am always striving to be.

Alyson Rogers

My 'Sick Days' Are Not for When I'm Sick

At the agency I work for, youth workers are given 10 sick days per year. I’m extremely fortunate to have these sick days and a job, especially considering that so many people with disabilities are not employed, precariously employed or discriminated against when it comes to jobs. When we think of sick days, we think of fevers, upset stomachs, common colds, etc. I don’t use my sick days for these things. While I have 10 sick days available to me in a given year, I don’t use them for when I’m sick. I use them for when my disability is beyond what I can manage at work. I couldn’t tell you the last time I called into work sick that wasn’t related to my brain injury. It’s usually for a migraine or I have taken something for pain that will result in me sleeping for way more than 8 hours. I call into work when the mental and physical fatigue has reached a point where I wouldn’t even be able to do my job. My sick days aren’t for sitting on the couch and sipping tea to help a sore throat or treating fevers. My sick days are for getting my body sorted and rested enough so I can return to work the next day. Having a permanent and chronic disability means my sick days are precious to me. This also means if I have something able-bodied people might use sick days for such as a common cold, I’m coming to work. I can’t waste one of my sick days on the days I can’t breathe out of my nose and I’m drinking DayQuil out of the bottle like it’s juice. I need those days for when my brain injury starts acting up. I lost my voice due to a cold this week and so many people have suggested I take a sick day, but I can’t justify it in my mind. While 10 days sounds like a lot, it isn’t when you have a disability. If I call in sick for something non-disability related, I risk not having enough days down the road for when my brain injury symptoms flare up. I can work through not having my voice, but I can’t work through a brain injury-related migraine. I have to think long and hard before using a sick day and with how unpredictable my health is, I choose not to risk not having enough sick days for my disability. To all of my coworkers — I’m sorry but I’m coming to work with all my germs and and a bag of cold medicine. I’ll sanitize my hands as much as possible.

Alyson Rogers

Dating, Drinking and Disability

In April, I started taking medication that comes with side effects. Due to those side effects, drinking alcohol is not recommended. I’m 26 years old and drinking is a very large part of the social fabric of my age group. Before starting the medication, I wasn’t feeling well enough due to my most recent concussion to add alcohol to the mix anyway, and I didn’t mind going to the bar with my friends and ordering a Coke. Every now and then, I’d have a drink with them but now alcohol is a definitive no. It’s easy to do this with my friends because they’re well aware of my brain injury and that I’ve started using medication to manage some of the symptoms.  They have witnessed a lot of those symptoms and know me — they’re my friends. They know the medication has positively impacted my life and removing alcohol is a small sacrifice to feel like myself again. Removing alcohol from my life wasn’t something that upset me; I’m just happy to feel better and not experience so many physical symptoms within a day. I really didn’t put much thought into how not drinking would impact my social life because I already wasn’t drinking much and my friends understood why.  Since I’ve been feeling better and able to go out more, I’ve started dating again. This is where the alcohol-free lifestyle crossed my mind as a potential issue. For my age group, dating culture starts with “meeting up for a drink.” We haven’t even gone on a date and already I’m having to explain a brain injury-related issue. My brain injury story is 10 years long and too much for a first date; I also don’t want to share with a stranger that I’m on medication (stigma still reigns). That’s when I realized that I don’t have to explain myself and share my whole story. I have a brain injury, I don’t drink and that’s the end of it. If that person has an issue with me not drinking, that’s their issue, not mine.  There are so many other date ideas besides going for a drink. I also remembered that if someone can’t accept this one very small thing I can’t do, they’re not strong enough to handle my whole disability.  If a prerequisite on someone’s dating list is “must drink alcohol,” is this really someone I’m interested in going out with? Not at all. Since I’ve started dating again, I’ve rarely run into any issues regarding my new alcohol-free life. I explain that I don’t drink due to a brain injury but I’m still comfortable going to a bar; everyone has offered an alternative which I really appreciate.  I had one person who struggled to wrap his head around the minimal information he knew about my brain injury but once again, that’s his problem — not mine. My brain injury is a large part of who I am, but it’s only one part. There’s so much more to me than my disability and what I’m able and not able to do. On dates, I can talk about sports, going to New York, my job and so many other interests and aspects of my life. If a date can’t get past the idea that I won’t be chugging beer with them anytime soon or possibly ever, there’s the door and don’t let it hit you on the way out.

Alyson Rogers

Disability and Being Taken Seriously by Doctors

“If you change your mind, I’m the first in line.  Honey, I still have a disability, take achance on me.” I borrowed this popular ABBA lyric and added a bit of a Mighty twist to describe my most recent experience with my new neurologist whom I’m seeing for ongoing traumatic brain injury issues. I’m on head injury number four. Number one was pretty bad and recovery never fully happened; number two was minor in comparison to number one but certainly put a temporary dent (bothliterally and metaphorically, considering I got hit with a milk crate) in my life plans. By number three I knew what I was doing. But number four was a whole new ball game. A few weeks after my fourth head injury, I started to experience symptoms that were new to me.  After 10 years of having a brain injury, it’s hard for a symptom to shock me, but this took a huge toll on my health and life. I’m no stranger to the odd sensation that follows a hit to the head, butthere were no words to describe what I felt for five months after my last head injury. The best word to describe them was “episodes” and they happened multiple times a day — shaking head, fast blinking, stiff arms and blurred vision preceded by an aura-like tingling sensation in my legs, all the while remaining conscious. When I wasn’t shaking all over, I was walking around more fatigued than I had ever been with increasingly concerning brain injury symptoms, both old and new. I insisted on working through these episodes, which meant a lot of people saw them.Based on their observations and everything I’d read, they looked like seizures. It’s not uncommon for people with traumatic brain injuries to develop seizures/epilepsy whether that is a day, a year or a decade after the initial injury.  This made sense until all of my EEG tests were normal. When my tests came back clear, I was devastated. If it isn’t epilepsy, what is it and how do Iget it to stop?  If I have no test results to back up my story, is it even true to doctors? That’s when my neurologist recognized that even though I may not have epilepsy, I still have a disability — and took a chance on me.  When he asked if I wanted to try something anyway, I was the first in line (get the ABBA reference now?) My neurologist prescribed me a low-dose of anti-seizure medication that works by calming the brain, and it worked! After I got over the slight hump of side effects, I felt like myself again. Ihave had no episodes and while I still have brain injury symptoms, they are my usual ones that I have learned to manage. My co-workers have commented that I got my personality back and I have way more energy that I did before. I also have more time in my day considering I don’t have to stop to have these weird shaking episodes that take time to recover from. This has also given me a renewed sense of safety. A medic alert can only do so much when youlive alone in a big city like Toronto. Speaking of big cities, I was able to recently take a trip to New York City by myself; without this medication, I would have spent more time in the hotel room resting that I would have seeing New York. Disability is understood to come with symptoms and side effects that can often not be explained by medical technology or med school books. Any time medication was brought up as an option by doctors before my current one, they mentioned unpleasant side effects.  My life was already unpleasant, so I was willing to risk the side effects of medication if they were willing to pull out the prescription pad and let me try something new. A common barrier for people with disabilities is getting doctors to take our symptoms seriously and understand how greatly they impact our lives. We are the first in line when you change yourmind about us; we still have disabilities and we want you to take a chance on us.

Alyson Rogers

Brain Injury Made Me a Badass

Happy Brain Injury Awareness Month to all of my fellow survivors and those that support us, care for us and stand by us! It feels weird to wish someone a “happy” Brain Injury Awareness Month because a brain injury isn’t a happy experience.  So many symptoms and changes can occur after a brain injury, and sustaining one can result in permanent disability and impairment. So why did I just wish all of you a Happy Brain Injury Awareness Month? This is why: I came across a quote from a TBI Facebook Life Coach page that said, “I think creating my ‘new life’ and a ‘new self’ after a brain injury is the most badass thing I have ever done.” I’ve done a lot of reading on brain injury and talked to a lot of professionals about its impacts, and that quote is one of the most helpful things I’ve ever heard about brain injury. Being a badass is individually defined; being a badass for me is self love, self care and taking no nonsense. This is exactly what rebuilding myself after all four of my head injuries has involved. Self Love: Even though my brain has had quite a bit of damage, I still love my brain. It does so much for me, and I even love the damaged parts of it. I love that I can’t stop laugh at my own jokes to the point of snorting, that sometimes I get so into what I’m doing that I literally spin myself in a circle and tip onto the floor, and I love that my injuries have made me friendly and awkward at times. There are days when all I want to be is able-bodied and not experience brain injury symptoms; I hate when my brain betrays me and throws in symptoms when I have things to do. But overall, I love how I turned out. Self Care: Having a brain injury has really forced me to look at how I take care of myself. Each new injury means more self care. While symptoms are part of day-to-day life, I know an increase may mean I need to take better care of myself.  It’s also pushed me out of my comfort zone into trying new things; I do my own yoga at home, I started buying the positive affirmation products I used to laugh at, I have tarot cards, I tried Reiki and I burn incense. A huge part of my self care has been making my apartment beautiful; I spend a lot of time here due to my injury, especially considering I go to bed at 9 p.m. My friends and I joke that I shop a lot, but home décor is my self care. No Nonsense: Each head injury has really made me stronger in the “no nonsense” department. When I was 17, someone questioning my brain injury devastated me. Now at 26, that doesn’t fly with me and I will call it out. I’m also much more confident in picking friends that understand my health issues and respect my limitations. I’m better able to articulate my brain injury needs, as well as talk about them openly with my family, friends and colleagues. I recently started taking medication to manage the symptoms and it has really depleted my filter, so I’ve become a badass by saying what is really on my mind often. Does this get me into trouble at times? Yes. Has this also been really entertaining? Absolutely. My brain injury causes a ruckus in my life daily, but it has also turned me into the badass I am today. To all the badasses with a brain injury out there — this is our month and I wish you all the best in your recovery, maintenance and brain injury journey.

Alyson Rogers

Unexpected Things I Do Because of My Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain injuries come with a lot of symptoms that impact survivors 24/7.  There are some obvious and not-so-obvious things survivors may do as a result of those symptoms.  The people in my life are used to the obvious; taking Tylenol, struggling with word recall, going to bed at 9 p.m. — but these are the five things people often don’t realize I’m doing because of my brain injury: 1) Lowering the brightness on my phone. The brightness is turned down to pretty much nothing. Even having brightness on low-medium hurts my eyes. I recently learned to turn up the brightness momentarily while putting photos on Instagram, otherwise my filters look too bright. 2) Wearing sunglasses. I wear my sunglasses at times when people don’t usually wear sunglasses. The first one is obvious — I have my sunglasses on indoors because my eyes are sensitive to light. The second is not so obvious — I wear my sunglasses to hide when I have been crying due to not feeling well. I play this off as a light sensitivity issue. 3) Interrupting by accident. I’m the Queen of interrupting, and I’m sorry. I interrupt because my brain doesn’t function fast enough to tell me to wait, or I misjudge when you are done talking. 4) Interrupting on purpose. Paying attention is hard for me. If you’re telling a long story, I may repeat what you said, ask a question or just say “wow” because it jolts/gives my brain a kick so I can continue focusing on your story. If I listen in silence, I won’t be able to fully pay attention. 5) Winking. I’m not winking at you, I just need to check if both of my eyes are working the way they are supposed to. Sometimes I get blurred vision in one eye and sometimes both — I need to check these things throughout the day.

Alyson Rogers

The Meaning of 'Fine' After Brain Injury

We ask people how they are too many times a day to count. Sometimes it’s out of genuine interest, and other times it’s a social nicety. This common question can become a very loaded one when you have a disability. “How are you” often means “how are you feeling?” My response when someone asks me how I am is “I’m good, thanks” 99 percent of the time. This is often confusing for people, because how could I really be good? Especially on days when my disability is very visible in the form of seizures, dark circles under my eyes and pale skin. Upon further questioning, I will be honest about my health not being great on that particular day. I’ll share that I didn’t sleep, I’ve had multiple seizures, I have a headache, I feel unwell, etc. So why am I lying? Well, I’m not. When people ask me how I am, they are asking how I am feeling. When I say I’m good, I’m saying I’m good enough today. My good may look very different from yours, and you may not be able to imagine experiencing what I do and classifying this as good. In 10 years of living with a brain injury, I’ve never had a single symptom-free day.  I may rarely physically feel good, but there are days when I feel good enough. Good enough means something different to everyone. For me, it means I feel good enough to go to work today. Despite having brain injury symptoms all day, I’m happy to be there because I love my job and know it’s something I could have lost. It means I’m good enough to keep my personality and mood at its usual perky level and my disability is not getting the best of me that day. I’m good enough to function and do what I love despite how awful I may feel. I try so hard to maintain a positive outlook on my life and disability. I have accepted my brain injury as a part of me and something that greatly altered the direction of my life. I’m happy with where my brain injury has led me and wouldn’t change what happened. I have recently started having seizures, and while I haven’t determined any positive outcomes from this new symptom, I still have hope that I will. People in my life have expressed their surprise at how well I have adjusted to this new turn in my disability. My social life has diminished drastically — I no longer drink alcohol, I can do one thing per day and I’m usually in bed by 9 p.m. My once busy schedule has shrunk to work and home. I’ve been able to work, but find it exhausting and much harder than before. These are big life changes for me, but I’m still happy with what I am able to do. I crash and break down at times (bigtime this week) about my disability, but I still feel good enough to try to pick myself back up. Writing this certainly helped! I may look and feel awful but considering what my brain injury could have taken away, this is still good enough for me.

Alyson Rogers

Feminism, Disability and Women's Marches

On January 20, rallies and marches were held across the world to mark one year since the 2017 Women’s March. Feminists organized to protest Trump’s racist, sexist and transphobic policies while shining a light on local issues. I’m a proud feminist and participated in feminist organizing throughout university. I have been to many marches, held many banners and I’m currently reading “Living a Feminist Life” by Sara Ahmed. It may come as a surprise that I did not attend the Women’s March on January 20. I didn’t attend because I’m a feminist with a disability, and for me this was the right decision. Does skipping the Women’s March to sleep all day make me a Bad Feminist? This question and the guilt associated with not attending feminist events is something that crosses the minds of feminists with disabilities often. If we don’t go, does that mean we don’t care enough? Can we only show our solidarity in the form of being physically present? Are we being judged because we didn’t go? To my fellow feminists with disabilities — it’s OK if you didn’t go to the Women’s March. No matter how accessible an event is, sometimes it’s just not in the cards for some feminists with disabilities. I wanted to attend but I used up the limited energy my disability allows for to get through my work week — there was none left for the Women’s March. If this sounds familiar or if your reasons for not attending are disability-related, let the guilt fade away. There is nothing disability-friendly about cold weather, large crowds and noise. This is not to say we should cancel all marches; they are a wonderful way to build community and an effective tool for bringing attention to social justice issues. But there needs to be a more nuanced understanding of what participating in feminist movements looks like and it needs to go beyond taking attendance. For events such as the Women’s March, there is a lot of pressure to attend as well as real and perceived shaming of those who do not. The assumption that feminists who do not attend simply don’t care is ableist and doesn’t take into account the experiences and needs of some feminists with disabilities. Showing up to an event is not the sole indicator that you’re a feminist and care about social justice issues. There are so many other ways to support movements, and feminists with disabilities are already doing this work in ways that don’t jeopardize our health and well-being. Women with disabilities need feminism and feminism needs women with disabilities. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty image by Aga7ta.