Chapter 1 of Talking Splat

11 Jan

Chapter 1. What the Heck?

Invisible disabilities – talk about ruining a totally cool word by plopping it against a word that’s utterly depressing. Invisibility has been a fabled superpower since our childhoods. It ranks in the Top 5 Most Wanted Superpowers along with flying, predicting the future, mind reading, and eating nothing but pizza and donuts yet never gaining a single pound. For the record, pizza and donuts aren’t even allowed in my house, and I live only with my dog who doesn’t speak in sentences, so you can guess who set that rule.

In the case of an invisible, or hidden, disability, “disability” refers to something inconsiderately assigned to us by a cruel whim of the universe. “Hidden” is a corollary of that whim, the condition that no one can see our disability. They have no idea how we feel. It is left to us to tell them.

But how?

It’s like you could write a whole book on the topic. Well PRESTO, I did! Here it is.

If you’ve made it this far, like, you know, opening the thing, you surely already know what a hidden disability is. You’ve got one. Lucky you (just testing your savvy for sarcasm, as there will be more).

But all the same, I’m going to share with you my definition of hidden disabilities, if for no other reason than I worked hard on the thing. See, despite my thorough research, I never found a definition that satisfied me. It’s like we’re so invisible and perhaps even non-relevant that we can’t even get a decent definition. So I made one up. Because we are SO relevant.

hidden disabilities are conditions that include cognitive difficulties, mental health disorders, learning differences, physical pain, fatigue, or other physical conditions that are not apparent to the onlooker but significantly impact one’s daily activities

Notice three parts to this definition. The first part covers what a hidden disability might be, from a cognitive impairment to chronic pain. The second part is the “hidden” part: not apparent to the onlooker. And finally, the “disability” aspect: the fact that our day-to-day lives are substantially affected. Work. Keeping up the house. Socializing. Pursuing our passions. Taking care of our families, including fur families. Self care. Sex. Flossing. All the things.

One of the great blessings we have in life to help us through difficulties is people. Yes, I’m a fan. But to get help, we need to connect. And to connect, we must be able to communicate. So let’s talk talking.

Get the full book at (tentative release date: February 26, 2019).


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