None of us is free until all of us are free
It can be hard to stay engaged, especially in advocacy work. There's always something vying for our attention, from social media to petitions to our own health and well-being. Burnout is the inevitable result - exhaustion so pervasive that we have no choice but to disengage at times.
This act of disengaging isn't just natural; it's healthy. It allows us to recharge and rejuvenate, so we can show up as our best selves. But sometimes we forget to return. We've grown so accustomed to isolation that we struggle to look beyond our immediate spheres, beyond our own lives.
I see this a lot in the disability community. Life with SMA - or any other rare disease - is difficult. Sometimes, it's all we can do to look after ourselves, let alone someone else. But I push myself to show up.
I get back to the work.
I try to remember that our community is bigger than it seems. For every person in the #DisabledAndCute hashtag, there's someone out there with unmet needs.
Just because I feel seen, doesn't mean that others do.
This is true for the SMA community - people around the world with different life experiences and resources at their disposal. But it's also true for the disability community at large. Invisible illnesses. Ambulatory folks. The list goes on.
Some of us are thriving, and some of us aren't.
“I feel it's my responsibility to advocate for people without a voice.”