This blog post was written by Isabella Fantasia as part of our 'Disability pride starts here' project.
Everyday my relationship changes with feeling pride in my disabilities and in who I am as a proud disabled young person. The world challenges me by making me feel shame and doubt about my disabilities as they are all invisible. Since I'm really verbal and social most people perceive me as "normal" as they can't see the barriers I face in my everyday life.
I have days where I wake up feeling ok and I feel so incredibly privileged to understand who I am, why I struggle and proud to be a part of such an amazing community. But I also have days where I wake up tired or in pain and wish so badly that I didn't have any disabilities because then life would be easier or at least simpler.
Often my bad days are plagued by my own internalised ableism and impostor syndrome that is often triggered by past ableist comments from the public, peers and my family. Ableism warps the way I see myself. It makes me question my disability identity and my place within the disability community.
I fight those bad days by practicing self-care and leaning on my friends and community who I know I can trust to understand my compounding feelings and intrusive thoughts. They have their own experiences with feeling disability pride and understand that it’s not something you’ll feel every single day.
It’s ok to not feel disability pride every day. Being proud is challenging as there can be so much discrimination and ableism in our world. But instead of feeling disheartened by all the negativity I use it to power the flame of my passion for advocacy.
Disability pride isn’t something easy as it always changes but what should never change is self-love.
Meet the writer
Isabella (Bell) uses she/her pronouns and is proudly a neurodivergent Greek (CALD) queer (asexual) empath with psychosocial and learning disabilities. She passionately works and volunteers in the intersectional fields of youth, disability and mental health where she focuses on all levels of systemic advocacy.