Before you answer - who are you answering for?
On whose authority?
What's your own experience?
And does it match others?
We can use labels to help someone, or ourselves, to feel liberated, understood and accepted, but we can also use it to create shame and stigmatise, to box people, or ourselves, in, or to give them, or us, a voice.
My label might not be your label.
But my label isn't for you to judge or to free me from without my permission.
"Parents of neurodivergent children: 'I don't want to limit them by putting a label on them.'
Before I knew I was neurodivergent, my labels were: Stubborn, lazy, rebellious, difficult, stupid, flake, dumb.
Now those have been replaced with autistic and ADHD." (NeuroDivergent Rebel).
Before my label of dyslexia, I was also called lazy - despite spending three times longer studying - and stupid - despite seeing details others missed and being highly creative.
Before my label of depression, I was a weirdo and utterly alone in my experience. The label made me feel seen and understood. It gave me a language for my lived experience. It felt liberating to know there was a word to describe my, previously, isolating feeling.
But, after a while with my label of depression, I felt stuck and cursed for life.
And after my label of dyslexia, I started to feel ashamed due to the deficit and disability labels attached to this diagnosis
Now, neither matters.
My labels don't own me. I own them.
My labels aren't me. But they belong to me to do with as I see fit.
Depression isn’t a disorder to me, it’s a sign that something is wrong that I need to address. It’s helpful, it’s guiding, it’s protective (even while the feeling itself is rubbish and hard to live alongside).
My dyslexia label isn’t a disability nor a deficit, to me, it’s a different brain wiring that makes me excel in areas non-dyslexics don’t and can’t.
Psychiatrist and trauma expert Gabor Mate says a diagnosis explains you but it doesn't define you.
We're all entitled to our labels and our opinions about them but don't presume your opinion should be imprinted in someone else's ear.
Which labels you accept as yours and the meaning and power you give the words you describe yourself with are not only your right but your choice and your responsibility.
What's the story you’re telling yourself, and is it helpful or hindering?
Remember though, with whatever you read online, take what you like and leave the rest because it's your life and, therefore, your choice of how to live it.
After all, this is the Manual of YOU!
Until next time, take care, stay safe - and sane - make kind choices and stay flawsome! Don’t forget, you’re fucking brilliant!
(This was written by a human – a dyslexic one at that! Yay!)
#CultureOfImperfection #GenerousContribution #RadicalKindness #EthicalLiving #ConnectingCommunities #ReframingNarratives #TheManualOfYou #YourLifeYourChoice
Read, follow, enjoy, like (loathe, object to) my daily, micro blog, challenging common ways of thinking about thinking and new ways to feel about feelings.