This wasn't a pre-planned entry, or one that will follow my usual pattern of humor or sarcasm. Sometimes jokes can only get you so far. Sometimes life throws stuff at you that laughter won't help. Sometimes you have to highlight the bad it life to see how truly amazing all the other stuff is. I've tried in my previous posts to show you how positive disability is, how regardless of our limitations we are just like the rest of you. The truth is though, sometimes being disabled is shit. Disability has brought into my life some of the most amazing things. It has given me unbreakable friendships, once in the life time opportunities to represent my country in sport and given me a more varied and happy life than I know I would have every had without it. In the same breathe it has brought me unbearable heart-ache.
Tonight I found out that an old friend of mine passed away. He was 28. Far to young to be so cruelly taken away. Sure he could be an absolute arse at times. He was always getting himself into some form of trouble and I'm sure a borderline sex pest ;) but he was just one of those guys that made your day more exciting. It's an all too common thread of life when you live with a disability, death follows you around like a bad smell. You know it's there, it often makes it's presence known with a tap on the shoulder and a waver of breathe. It can pass through your happiest memories and loom over them. Often it's friendly, it takes away the pain that disability can bring but sometimes it's sadistic and taunts you for fun; like a big kid poking a worm with a stick. I'm sure it stands there looking at you from afar, waiting until your guard comes down, thinking he might have left you alone for a while, then takes a running stab at your from behind.
Disability can be a life affirming quality, it can bring you a brilliant outlook on life but it can also be a death sentence. It angers me no end that good people die young because of a little bit of genetics.
Death played it's first hand in my life when I was just 13. He played the long game then. He took his time, playing his hand piece by piece. Filling me with hope, only to dash it days later. His first victim my best friend. Nowadays he has got quick and far to greedy. There s no gentle tap on the shoulder anymore, just a sudden gut-wrenching blow to the stomach. Within the last twelve months he has got a little to big for his boots claiming a best friend and Cornish star, a jack-the-lad joker and a right little trouble-maker.
We used to play this game, my first friend and I, where we would make up lives in our heads, we would play it for hours. We'd have the best cars, the most handsome boyfriends (in the early 00's we are talking Brian McFaddon and Duncan James) but most of all we'd grow old. Well that's what you are meant to do isn't it? Grow old. Have kids. Live.
I've had enough. Death is really getting on my tits and I'll be damned if I let his lust for disability triumph.
He's had his fun and caused his pain but let's not let his victims be his victims for no reason. One day, and I don't know how long from now, death will just be that stairway at the end of your very long life. For, in a world where we hope to achieve regrowth of limbs in 50 years, then why are lives still being unnecessarily shortened? The government see a child on the street wasting away and put millions into funding for shelters and food banks to stop it. Yet there are thousands of people who's bodies are effectively doing the same thing, who's life can be prolonged by just one drug that the government are unwilling to fund. What makes one persons life superior to another?
So this is my post for them, my friends who were taken to young. To tell the government to pull there fingers out of there arses and sit up. People are dying so shove your prestige and do something about it. For all those mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, cousins, friends and foes who got off on the wrong stop, here's a celebration of lives that, yes, where far to short but by god, left an impression.
To the boys. I miss you all, more than my unquestionably cool exterior let's on ;) Rest in peace you nutters; I hope you are playing havoc with those angels.
Welcome to the blog of me, Paige Tabone; student, writer, nerd, self-critic, telly-addict and self-confessed Cerebral Palsy-er (or wobbly if you will). It is the latter that has brought me to blogging. Ramming my way through the bullshit stereotypes that surround disability, showing the undiluted truth of someone twenty-two years into living on the often bumpy and unpredictable road against what's seen as 'normal'.
I'm aware you might have just got lost trying to navigate yourself to a hilarious cat video; now you are looking bewildered as you see nether a ominous looking jump or an unwittingly naive cat. Yet whether you find yourself here by purpose, mistake or luck I welcome you and offer you to get yourself comfortable, grab a nice cup of tea or a strong, stiff drink and stay for a bit. You see this isn't a story about some poor, unfortunate girl with a disability; it's simply a story about a girl with a set of tits, a set of tires and a mission to set the disability misconceptions record straight...