Carol Brady: stealing our gimpy thunder since 1988
The holidays can be really hard on disabled people. Those of us with mobility problems are often left out of parties or family gatherings because the location isn’t accessible. I have tried hosting, but I honestly can’t handle entertaining guests for hours. I have chronic pain and fatigue so I would be napping in the corner before the party even started. Plus, space is limited in our house because of my gimpy paraphernalia. The bathroom alone is enough to scare children as well as their parents.
Christmas is even harder on those with invisible disabilities. When I leave early, most people try to empathize. I’m sure they think “if she feels half as bad as she looks, then I’m surprised she even rolled out of bed.” I can politely leave with a “God bless us, everyone!” and sometimes they even get the joke. But if you look normal, then you are expected to be Santa’s little super elf because everyone feels pressured to spread themselves thin, too. Studies have shown that the rate of depression peaks just after the holidays in the normal population. Could you imagine how difficult it could be if you have mental health problems already?
I refuse to put my family through the stress. This is one of the perks of having a brain injury — I just don’t have a filter anymore and say whatever I think. Now I’m not saying that we don’t celebrate at all. We just modify it to fit our needs. We still spread the love to our friends, give gifts, watch goofy Christmas movies/cartoons and bake up a storm. It’s not as elaborate as most people’s holiday season, but it is still special to us. That’s what really counts.
In the upcoming series, I want to share some of our traditions and hopefully you can find something that may help you destress your holly jolly Feastivus as well.