I’m still learning language adaptations, especially in terms of ableism. Just this morning I used the phrase on this blog post “crippled by exhaustion” and my brain said, Wait, Kim, I think that’s problematic. AND I WAS SO PROUD OF MYSELF.
I mean, I’m not proud I still typed out the phrase without thinking, but very proud that I had that smarter voice in my head make me pause a bit and reconsider the language choice I had made. The word “crippled” is derogatory in general to people with disabilities, but it’s also taking that word and using it as a pejorative.
There’s no easy way to break down why words and phrases like this are problematic in every situation because their use can vary and there are plenty of people with disabilities who don’t object to that kind of language. But the gender rule of thumb is that you want to avoid any word or phrase that devalues people who have a disability. Though often unintentional, ableist language suggests that people with disabilities are abnormal and in my experience? If I’m unsure? Then why not just find language that won’t be problematic.
So, I’m starting over. Yesterday I felt as though all of my abilities were deficient because I was so tired. I stumbled a lot, I struggled for word choice, and I just felt foggy and not like me.
But the good side was that I was soooo tired that I passed out and barely tossed and turned all night! So I woke up feeling almost refreshed! I know it doesn’t work like that for people who suffer from chronic insomnia but when my anxiety impairs my sleep there’s always one night every 2-4 nights where I’m just so tired I get a good night’s sleep because my anxiety is not strong enough to win the battle with my exhaustion.
So I’m hoping to get settled back into life today back in town and catch up on several things. Before I go back again to Knoxville in a few days. BUT I DO FEEL LIKE THE END IS IN SIGHT! There are boxes full of things now! Rooms and closets are actually getting cleaned out! Pictures are off the walls! It’s been a long and tiring road but I do feel like we’re coming close to the end! WOO!