Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Dictionaries: I'll show you mine

Trying to explain disability to able-bodied people can feel frustratingly like speaking another language. It's not just that our experiences differ, it's that the words we use don't even mean the same things.

When you say you're tired, you mean you had a late night. When I say I'm tired, I don't mean I can't keep my eyes open: I mean I don't have the energy to close my eyes. Seriously, last night I was gazing into space for about ten minutes, with the vague awareness that there was something I'd forgotten to do, something that would make me feel better, something to do with eyes, what's that word? Eye... lid? Now why was I trying to remember that?

Some people call it 'brain fog', but it doesn't feel like a fog to me, it feels like a terrifying vacuum: like my mind's been wiped clean and I have no way of finding my way back to a place where words mean something, let alone organise themselves into sentences.

Tired means every sudden movement, every step, jars through my entire body. Tired means every joint aches, and all pain is magnified threefold. Tired, as a word, really doesn't cover it, but I don't have the words.

Luckily I have a blog, though.

1 comment:

  1. *laughs softly* I'm reading this at 10:30 AM after a completely sleepless night where every time I started to drift off, I was awoken by a wave of sick. I'm finally feeling decent now. I could probably roll over and go to sleep. But my laptop is on my lap and getting out of bed to put it away could ruin everything and start the whole cycle over.



    Sorry. All this to say that I came here via feministe and this article struck a chord with me. I'm not sleepy, right now. I'm just exhausted.