In the chaos of my sickness last week, I found it pretty difficult to find anything positive. I just generally felt tired and crummy — I’m sure you know how that goes. BUT! Like a beautiful rainbow after the rain, things did end up turning around. On Wednesday, I got that much-needed dose of positivity in the best way possible for a writer: My essay on The New York Times!!
Although I’ve been posting all about it on social media as I was in the different stages of writing, editing and pitching “Disabled, Shunned and Silenced in Trump’s America,” I’ve kept pretty quiet here on the blog — mainly because the essay hadn’t been accepted anywhere yet. OK, and honestly, I didn’t want to jinx myself, either!
But, that doesn’t mean I was any less passionate about the subject matter. In the days following the inauguration, I discovered that the ‘disabilities’ section of the White House Web site had been removed. While it’s true that its removal had a lot to do with the transfer of one administration to another, seeing a systematic disappearance of something that is such a part of my identity — that is, frankly, ME — just broke my heart. It made me feel “less than” and like I didn’t really matter.
So I wrote about it. I wrote the words I needed to say. I wrote about what a lot of people in this country are feeling right now. And I’m just incredibly grateful that The New York Times published my essay as part of their Disability column. I couldn’t believe the outpouring of support and it meant so much to me that people could identify with my words and my story.
You can read the full essay here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo