My catalogue of support groups from the National MS Society has arrived, and perusing it I was able to find a few that I’d like to go to if I have the time or (heh) the energy (yes, there are conference call groups, but I hate the phone more than the subway sometimes so…thanks, but no thanks). Among the usual (“newly diagnosed,” “living with progressive MS”) and some interesting ones (“Orthodox Jewish Women with MS,” “Sexual Issues”) was one called “But You Look So Good!”

And right there, I’m pretty sure I need to brave the express bus and get myself down into the city to be in attendance, because if there’s anything I’ve gotten tired of hearing, it’s that. Invisible disability has its upsides, of course, and I’d be an ass not to cherish them for as long as I can: the ability to move more or less unnoticed, without being subjected to the regular and degrading invasions of privacy that someone in a wheelchair comes to accept as a matter of course. But there’s also the constant need to prove legitimacy–this girl can’t possibly be sick, you see people thinking. She’s wearing high heels. I’ve seen her making out with her husband. She’s pregnant, she has a kid… surely no disabled person would be so irresponsible.

God knows I fight the idea of any sort of assistive device, even when I maybe should start thinking more seriously about it. Something I read recently made the point that letting the disease limit your mobolity is allowing it to control you, and I get that, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to be so visible. I don’t like being spoken to or approached. And yet, that same part of me wishes that I didn’t constantly have to explain the situation.

I suppose I’m willing to go with “you look so good” for a bit, yet.

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