As disabled people, we talk all the time about how our spaces are messy, but I think able-bodied people have a really hard time understanding why it is that we can’t keep our spaces clean. Allow me to elaborate.
First of all, physical labor takes fuckloads of energy. If I have other life-sustaining things to do in a day, cleaning often falls down low on the list.
If I’m forced to choose between having the energy to do something that gives me joy, but still gives me pain, or cleaning my apartment which can sometimes be actively triggering and injure my body in a major way, I’m going to choose the thing that gives me joy every single time.
A lot of the time, simple chores like folding laundry can take me three hours. That’s not taking into account breaks. I don’t have the time for manual labor. I just don’t. If I need to do other things in my day, then I typically can’t/don’t have time for chores.
It’s not that I like living in a “dirty” environment. Sometimes I just can’t. Check out that really gross stain on my bed, I sure as shit don’t enjoy that. But is it something I can cope with in the meantime in order to free up space for my body to heal? Sure.
This isn’t a “boo-hoo, poor them thing”. It’s a “this is how I’ve learned to negotiate living my life as a disabled person” thing. Oftentimes, being disabled is about the tradeoffs we have to make with our bodies in order to live another day with as little pain as possible. This is just my experience, so I can’t speak for other people. What are your experiences with being disabled and being “messy”?
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