Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don't get around much anymore ... uncovering the stigma of disability

"Don't get around much anymore."  That's the name of an old song that old women like me remember.  Nat King Cole sings that one, but I've linked to the gravel-voice of Rod Stewart to fuel this post.

Listen here:

The lyrics start ...

Been invited on dates

I might have gone but what for

It's awfully different without you

Don't get around much anymore

Awfully different without you

Don't get around much anymore
I've been learning to live with the toxic drift of everyday/everynight Earth for seven years.  Diagnosis of MCS confirmed the things I knew were happening, credence to the things that made me more and more phobic and isolated. 

Writing and then blogging allowed me to tap into the well of resilience that comes from the Universe.  I discovered or remembered new and ancient sources of resilience to deal with my new life.

There are 4 Personal Super-powers  I call on one day at a time:

1.  Astrology
This was a source I'd tapped in years ago, but in such a different and passive way many years ago.  An ancient art and navigational tool came alive for me when I began to rebuild a life from a dream of a Gypsy's wagon.

I discussed Astrology in Real Life through the blog pages of a woman named Elsa P.  She has helped me navigate in unexpected ways.  I credit her here on VardoForTwo often because like the song says, "I don't get around much anymore."

Being affected by another's choices is not a new experience for me.  I was born into a family disease of alcohol, and found my way into the rooms (when I was still able to be in a room, and a roomful of people with fragrance and chemicals) of 12-Step Meetings.  When my disability escalated in 2007, my 12-Step life took a spiral.  My connection to the one day at a time practice had to be done one-on-one with my Higher Power and my sponsor of many years via the cellphone.

This practice sustains me still.

3.  Blogs and blogging
We had a very old Sony laptop that made blog world happen for me.  Ruby, the Laptop hung in there to chronicle the building of a safe haven through blogging.  I learned to reach out through other bloggers who also lived with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.  I slowly built a support network, and we built VardoForTwo with a few internet friends who watched us reassemble a life.

I birthed blog after blog.  Therapy at the keyboard.  And then, Ruby passed on worn from the road and the wear.  It isn't easy to replace a piece of equipment when you live with sensitivities to material and new product.  It took a year to find this laptop ... a hand-me-down from our new friends Eileen and Mary.

Thank you for the connection.
4..  Masks
Covering up is both a process and a survival technique.  Thousands of us seek out the protection of masks that we can wear to make exposure to the environment possible.  Some of us wear 'em on the outside, some wear 'em on the inside.  I think that's part of the lyrics to (another) song I love ... Bette Midler?

The mask I wear, and often have dangling off one ear is the I Can Breathe Mask.  The one I have now is a 'designer lace' get-up prettier than many I've had.  It is outfitted with a carbon-filter that can be replaced, and the lace is polyester that I can tolerate.  There's always a mask tucked into my pocket or purse.

With the New Year of the Rabbit starting today, I'm hopeful and energized by the alignment of planets in the sign of Saturn.  I'm a Saturn-ruled old woman and count on the ancient charts to offer me signals.  It's not easy, I gotta tell you, and I keep digging through the ashes looking for the next ...

How do you cope with disability?  Can you relate to wearing your mask on the inside as well as on the outside?

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