Sixteen Things Mentally Ill Pagans Have to Put Up With (reblogged from Staff of Asclepius))

Sharing this article by my friend Nornoriel Lokason from his Patheos blog because I can relate to so much of this, too! My own invisible disabilities (fibromyalgia, IBS, and Raynaud’s disease) are not primarily mental, although fibro certainly does have some mental aspects to it, including the infamous “fibro fog”–which is NOT just from not getting enough sleep, thank you very much doctors, but is also due to having to deal with constant, unrelenting pain. It has been documented that some people with fibro have lost as much as 20 points off their measured IQ. But people react very similarly to physical invisible illnesses as they do to mental ones, including not understanding why I work only part time (yes, I work at home for myself too, but here I can control my environment–control of temperature being especially important for the Raynaud’s, work at my own pace and not have to struggle mentally if I don’t have it in me that day, can key my tasks to how I’m feeling and what I’m capable of at the time, have more freedom to move about physically, am not stuck at a desk, and have bathroom access whenever I need it–so there’s a big difference), not seeing why I can’t be asked to do certain things even though I “seem fine,” or why I always need a seat on the bus, etc. Being a high-functioning person with an invisible illness does not mean the invisible illness is not there–and unfortunately, being nearly fifty with fibro is not the same as being twenty-something and having it, either.

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One thought on “Sixteen Things Mentally Ill Pagans Have to Put Up With (reblogged from Staff of Asclepius))

  1. My rheumatoid arthritis is literally a pain to live with, and I find that arthritis flare-ups tend to negatively impact my mood; there’s definitely some truth to the mind-body connection, and a disproportionately high number of people with autoimmune conditions often meet the criteria for clinical depression, which is not surprising, when you’re in chronic pain it’s hard to feel great. Invisible physical illnesses and disabilities are something that gets overlooked a lot by society, people tend to think you’re not *~really~* physically disabled unless you’re walking with a cane or are in a wheelchair – you’ve probably heard the horror stories of people who are disabled and park in the handicapped space and get hate notes on their car from people who see them walking and think they’re not *~actually~* disabled and don’t realize that person may have fibro or something where joint pain is going to make it hard to walk across a big parking lot. It’s frustrating, and I think there needs to be more awareness raised of invisible illnesses, _especially_ in the Pagan community where group rituals and community events are too often based in the assumption that everyone there is able-bodied and can stand for long periods of time and so on. (Not that I plan on doing group ritual anytime soon, but one of my deterrents to doing group ritual is in fact because people tend to expect you to stand, and my arthritic knee really does not like standing in one place for longer than a few minutes at a time.)
    Also thank you for the linkage! ❤ If you ever wanted to contribute a guest piece to Staff of Asclepius on fibromyalgia, I'm sure Tara would love to take it.

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