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Ready to Rant: ‘You’re Not Disabled Enough.’

Ready to Rant: ‘You’re Not Disabled Enough.’

Thoracic and Abdominopelvic Endometriosis

My application to receive temporary benefits for disability was denied last month; it was denied in February, as well. The letter reads: “We have determined your condition is not severe enough to keep you from working. We believe you have the full capability to work a part-time job.”

Oh. I can? Do enlighten me, State of California—because this is news to me. I lovingly invite you to step into my body for one day (or just an hour for that matter) and then you may bestow your definitive decision upon me.

The letter filled me with anger and sadness…I was devastated.

It’s so unbelievably time-consuming to apply for disability. They put you through the wringer to make you prove your “worthiness” for short-term government assistance. Oftentimes, it’s so overwhelming, many would-be applicants give up entirely.

It’s nothing but pages upon pages of rigorous and repetitive paperwork, phone and in-person interviews reiterating the same damn thing over and over, rushing to your doctor’s office so that they can do their portion of the paperwork,  and then FINALLY come the months of nervously awaiting their lofty response. You have a one-month deadline to finish every absurd requirement. (Naturally, they give a four-to-12 month waiting period to formulate their conclusion.)

I thought maybe, just MAYBE I would receive some genuine understanding and empathy.

WRONG. The holier than thou government could give two shits less about you or I. (How stupid of me to think otherwise?) Real talk. Not to sound cynical…No, wait. I’ve changed my mind. I’m shamelessly cynical.

Evidently having tissue and fibroids attack my vital organs, which left me bedridden for three weeks out of the month, is not severe enough for assistance. (I not only have Thoracic and Abdominopelvic Endometriosis, but I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar II, BPD, PTSD, and Social Anxiety Disorder.)

On top of being physically inept for two years (due to the excruciating Thoracic Endometriosis pain), I deal with an immense amount of trauma that keeps me from going into public places (like the grocery store) for longer than 10 minutes at a time. I also experience mood swings that are so severe that I blackout.

All of that is still not enough to receive temporary support. What a slap in the fucking face.

This was a wake-up call, loud and clear: There is still SO much stigma and discrimination toward any form of Endometriosis (any ailment related to women, really) and mental health illnesses and disorders. We are not taken seriously and our voices are muffled. Society incessantly rejects women with this disease and completely dehumanizes us.

Endometriosis is not classified as a disability when it damn well should be. Our dysfunctions have been considered “hysteria” since the beginning of time; we’ve always been the “lesser” gender.

It’s a total crock of shit.

And yet we sweep our chronic illness and disabilities under the rug (especially Endometriosis), out of fear of ridicule and judgment. If “we” can’t check the specific box of what “disabled” looks like, we’re not worthy; there’s no chance in Hell.

Invisible illnesses, pre-existing conditions, and disabilities do and always will exist. When will society accept and embrace its people?

It angers me to the core. How can we truly begin to rewrite this destructive narrative? By diligently striving to rise above and educate those in our immediate circle, that’s how. I still have my bouts of wanting to give up entirely, as I am sure you all can relate to. But we can share and heal collectively through writing, activism, groups, etc.

Women are strong, powerful beings.

Please don’t live in a space of fear and shame. Share your divine feminine and authenticity with the world; don’t allow anyone to minimize you or keep you in the box of your diagnosis. You are not strictly identified by “the moody bitch with Endometriosis” or the classic “mentally unstable one.” You deserve the same equal treatment and rights of all. I implore you to keep fighting for it in whatever capacity you can.

We are all unique and have our own individual life purposes, experiences, and knowledge to share with the world. We also have SO much to learn from one another. Never, ever forget that there’s a powerhouse inside of you.

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