I’m tired. Perhaps that’s the hardest thing to explain. Because when I say I’m tired, I don’t mean that I’m just ‘tired’, I mean that I’m tired to my very soul.
I’m tired of being a chronic pain patient. I’m tired of being in pain all the time, I’m tired of having to explain what it’s like to be in pain all the time. I’m tired of people telling me that they don’t know how I do it or that they couldn’t do it. Because, actually, yes they could. When you’re faced with this sort of unending pain you get on with it because you have no choice. There is no option but to get up each day and get on with it. And even if you find that you can’t get out of bed, you still have to just get on with it.
I’m tired of the flashbacks and I’m tired of having to claw my way back from them. Going to bed and seeing pictures of past abuse in your nightmares, or as you fall asleep is far from fun and you don’t get used to it. I’m tired of the emotional flashbacks where the anxiety creeps up on me and I feel all the emotions but I can’t place why. Of looking over my shoulder when I leave the flat, just to make sure that he’s not there. Even though I know that he doesn’t know where I live and he won’t be there. I’m tired of the days that I jump at every little noise that is louder than the sound of fingers on my keyboard. And I’m tired of living in a flat under someone who thinks he’s a DJ but is just a menace to his neighbours.
I’m tired of people trying to turn health into a competition and make other people’s experiences invalid. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to experience a disability, a condition, or an illness. There is not judging anyone else’s pain or difficulties because you don’t walk in their shoes. Everyone has their own differing experiences, and whilst we may move along similar paths, we can never truly know all that the other person is going through.
I’m tired of being told I’m an inspiration. And no that doesn’t mean I’m ungrateful. It means that living my daily life in chronic pain, as an Autistic LGBT+ Romani with mental health issues doesn’t make me inspirational, it makes me human. That’s not inspirational, it’s just who I am. If you want to be inspired by me, be inspired by the fact I write books, be inspired by my advocacy to go out there and make a difference. Be inspired to check in on those you love. Anything but find me ‘inspirational’ for being alive.
I’m tired of living in a world where people think it’s okay to silence others based on their genitals, their gender identity, sexual orientation, skin colour, age, mental health, disability, ability, whatever else you want to throw in there. I’m tired of people dying because we aren’t doing enough to address the problems we have we in society. And I’m tired of our world leaders being people that we can’t actually look up to and not because we voted them in, but because we got lumped with them by idiots that don’t actually realise just how fucked up their decisions are.
I’ll keep on advocating for my rights, and for the rights of others who are being oppressed and trodden on by those in power, and those who have privilege. Because that is what I do and that is who I am. But there are days when I struggle too. Days that people don’t see, where for once, I would like to pack it all in, move to an island with my three favourite people (maybe my five favourite people) and just say fuck it all. Because on those days, I’m so tired, not only does my body hurt, not only does my brain want to play mean tricks, but my soul aches with a hunger for peace and quiet which it has never known.