Part of my workday is spent sifting through the Internet for interesting articles relating to Independent Living, disability rights, human rights and other issues relating to the disability community. I learn a lot by doing this: information about organizations and events as well as the newest trends in technology; unfortunately, I come across a lot of negativity as well. Not just from people who purposefully attempt to make others angry by posting inflammatory comments, but from members of the disability community. Looking through Tumblr under the tag “disability,” I find so many blogs from people who focus entirely on the negative aspects of having a disability.
I’m not going to deny the cathartic release that can be accomplished by occasionally putting your frustrations in print, whether just for yourself or to share with others, but it shouldn’t be the only focus. Aside from not being healthy only to dwell on the negative, we have to think about the impact we have on others. Many of the misery-filled posts are public and can easily be found by people that are looking for a peer, someone who has gone through/is going through a similar experience. If all they see are posts filled with doom and gloom, that is not going to be very encouraging. If, however, there are posts peppered in that more accurately reflect reality (good days vs. bad days, accomplishments, etc.) it could potentially help give some perspective and be, not to sound too optimistic, beneficial for the disability community.
I think it’s important to remember the moments that are uplifting in one’s day. It could be a small victory, something new learned, or even just a new insight. These are the things that can help people connect and learn from one another. Keeping things in perspective will help keep us focused and might, in my opinion, even help stave off some depression. Sharing is important; that sense of catharsis is important, but the toll that it can take on ourselves and our friends and supporters can be great. It’s easy to find bad things, but more rewarding to share the good ones.
What do you think?