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I Have A Disability

by | Sep 23, 2019 | Chronic Illness, The Year of Gratitude, Trauma

I have a disability.

There, I said it. For the first time in my life.

Crohn’s disease is legally classified as a disability in the U.S according to the SSA. Yet all my life people have told me I should never label myself. “Words have power”, they said. “If you claim to be healthy and healed you will be. If you claim to be sick you always will be.”

But what I’m realizing now is that calling Crohn’s a disability is not a self-prophesying curse for myself, but rather it is simply being honest with myself and others around me.

I’ve spent 13 years pretending this disease doesn’t exist. Pretending to feel “fine”. Pretending that I’m strong enough.

But sometimes, I’m not.

Some days, I truly am too weak or in too much pain to walk.

Some days, (like today) going to the grocery store is like running a marathon.

Some days, I rely on my service dog or my boyfriend to help me with what I cannot physically do.

I must start being honest with myself and others about my limitations; it is what is right and fair. I must develop the courage to tell someone “no” when they ask me to do something that I know will be too taxing.

Does this mean some people will accuse me of being lazy, or faking, or exaggerating my symptoms? Absolutely. It already happens. But I really don’t care anymore. What other people think of me is non of my business. ?

Does this mean I will never push through and fake it ‘till I make it? Of course not. I’ve become an Olympic athlete with this disease and I’m not afraid of hard things. ? But pushing myself doesn’t equal not having boundaries. I get to choose when and how hard I push through.

I have a disability. There’s no shame in saying so. It’s not a weakness, it’s a strength. For indeed, it makes me a warrior and I’m proud of that. ?

Who else has a disability and/or chronic illness and is afraid to admit because of the judgement of others?



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About the Author

Emily Elizabeth Anderson is a Christian blogger and rising activist for people who have experienced abuse within a Christian environment.

After growing up in a fundamentalist cult for 23 years and experiencing childhood domestic violence, Emily began her journey to recovery in 2015 and eventually found Jesus to be her ultimate healer. She soon turned her passion for writing into a blog and her story has since been featured on several media outlets including NPR.

She married her best friend, Joshua, in 2020 and together they are passionate about educating on the realities of trauma survival and recovery, as well as supporting survivors they meet through their online community.

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