A letter to myself (and anyone else who needs to hear it) combatting my personal struggle with internalized ableism

Dear Derek,

I know it’s tough right now. Your brain is telling you things that aren’t true, through a little voice in the back of your head. You feel like crap… like no one believes in you… like you’re constantly messing yourself up… like you are nothing more than a crippled mess.

That’s not true and you know it. I’m here telling you this during the middle of a mental breakdown, just to pull myself through it.

You are worth every single ounce of affection, care, and support you receive. Listen to those around you, they just want to help, but more than likely have no idea what to do or say to help you feel better.

You are four days pre-op for a surgery that will help you. It’s going to suck, but it will help. You are not messing yourself up by getting it. You’re helping your future self.

You are more than your disability. It does not define you, yet it is merely a part of you that requires extra care and attention. You deserve the care and attention you receive. You are not burdening others by needing help. Ask and ye shall receive.

Do not let the little head demon control you. You are more than you tell yourself. You’ll get through it.



Okay… moral of that story is that internalized ableism sucks and it affects a good majority of us, me especially more recently. This is not staged, nor fake. This is pure, and this is me and my struggle. I shouldn’t even publish this, but I will because it’s a coping mechanism. I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll come back to this very soon. I also hope that seeing my struggle and my thoughts on it can help whoever needs to hear it. You’re more than you tell yourself. You’re not useless. You were out here for a reason, struggling with whatever you’re struggling for, with a reason. Please remember that tonight and talk to someone if you need to (me included at derekischmitz@outlook.com) about your struggle. Thank you so much for reading, and please reach out for help if you need it.