Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Dear Able People: A New Series

Zestyverse is launching a new series!

Zesty has reached out to artists of all kinds with physical or mental health conditions and asked them to share their experiences, thoughts, fears or processes.

Despite the obvious and varied issues in exposing such personal stories, the response has been overwhelmingly positive and we are looking forward to posting the pieces as they come in.

I’m a big fan of The Four Agreements. In brief, they are:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions.

4. Always Do Your Best.

For less than able people, challenge is everywhere.

Keep your word? Well, if possible, but who knows how tomorrow will be, and if I’ll be able to do what I said I’d be able to do.

Don’t take anything personally? Kind of hard when you’re getting side-eye for being 'able on the outside.'

Don’t make assumptions? That’s easy, except why does it seem to be so hard for everyone else?

And finally:

Always do your best.

Well, that’s an interesting one. What is your ‘best’ when best is different everyday and sometimes close to what would have been your worst once upon a time?

Chronic pain, debilitating pain, lack of mobility, excessive fatigue, mental stress and disorders all call into question the one thing we like to take for granted: our identity as human beings. Receiving judgment of outsiders on top of the constantly working inner analysis that rates us low on a scale of effective, productive human beings can have terrible consequences.

No one can live in anyone else’s body or mind – at least, not yet. With the help of varied contributors, we hope that Dear Able People will shine a light on issues that are clouded in shame, the labyrinth of the health care system, legal issues, and downright exhaustion. It’s hard to be activist when you can’t get out of bed.

If you are a creative with a long-term or chronic physical or mental health issue and are interested in contributing to this series, please feel free to get in touch.

Other posts in the series:

Wearing the Inside Out by Jerry Garcia


maggie dodson said...

I love the four agreements, I shall try my best to live up to them beautifully as I strive for perfection. Where do they come from? Or did you write them?

E. Amato said...

I love them, too! I most definitely did not write them - follow the link in the post for the book - Don Miguel Ruiz is the author.

Myshell Tabu said...

Well done! I know a couple of writers/poets/ activists who suffer from mental illness. I will spread the word.

E. Amato said...

Thank you, Lady! That's great and much appreciated!