“You do well for a person with disabilities,” My father told me tonight as I had walked over to his house to take my nightly medications for my schizophrenia.
I cringed at him saying that and it bothered me for the rest of the night. I try not to think of myself as disabled. It is such a stringent term. When you think of disabled people, you think of wheelchairs, the blind, and the paraplegic. My disability is not readily apparent and I often get questions and blank stares when I tell others I am disabled. It is not like I have some large growth protruding out of my head causing my schizophrenia. Humans are such visually oriented creatures and can usually only see skin deep I have learned.
I then walked home to call Rosa, needing a friend to talk to. She answered her cell phone after a few rings. It was growing close to midnight, but I knew she would still be up watching television in bed.
“Do you think I am disabled?” I asked her, worried and self conscious.
“I think you are amazing for what you have to deal with,” she said. “You just need to act crazy as shit the next time they review your disability, though. I would go off my meds for a few weeks.”
I smiled. Rosa has a way of looking at the practical side of things. She can be my truth sayer at times.
“Can you work?” Rosa then asked me.
“Oh god, I can’t deal with all that shit,” I replied. “The social aspects of a work environment drive me even crazier than I already am.”
“Then you are disabled,” Rosa said. “That’s why you draw disability. I would say schizophrenia counts as a pretty major disability.”
“But I don’t want to be disabled,” I said innocently, sounding as if I were a child.
“I know, honey,” Rosa said. “I know……but you do so well though, so don’t ever quit keeping on. Get your disabled ass in the bed. I am going to sleep.”
I burst out laughing at Rosa’s jovial brusqueness. We hung up our phones and I let Maggie inside the house after she had a run through the yard to empty her bladder for the night. I do so dearly love Rosa as a friend. It is so nice having someone you can be so open and honest with. If only I could have had that kind of relationship with my ex-wife. We would still be married. Good night.