A story about ranking disabilities:

One time I was talking to another wheelchair user I'd just met about traveling with a wheelchair, and she casually said, "...but, I mean, I'm a relatively 'able' disabled person."

I responded, "oh, like you're 'ambulatory'?"
She replied that, no, she is a complete para. She meant people who deal with chronic fatigue, pain, etc...

She was, without realizing it, classifying disabilities like mine as more disabling than hers, and I (also oblivious) had framed her disability as more disabling than mine.
The moral of this story is threefold:

1) you can't "rank" disabilities,

2) the most "disabling" disability is any disability that is unfamiliar bc you don't know what skills and strategies it might require in order to live well (making it seem more daunting to experience), and
3) we need to stop letting internalized ableism and nondisabled people define dis/ability for us because this is what happens. We were both operating from an ableist baseline of energy, pain, mobility, etc... and failed to perceive and honour one another's crip ways of being.
TMI epilogue: on bad days I do this thing of saying, "well at least my butt didn't fall out" (because rectal prolapse is a potential EDS complication) -- but then one day I was like, "what would happen if it did?" And the answer was, "I guess I'd deal with it 🤷‍♂️." I'm invincible.
So maybe discard whatever your version of "at least [I don't have pain/fatigue, I'm ambulatory, my butt didn't fall out, etc...]" is and honour crip creativity and adaptability instead. No more worst case scenarios misrepresenting how someone else lives their best life!
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