Being disabled makes my friendships better
Or, my friends are better than yours
Hello, happy Tuesday,
This week I’ve been thinking a lot about friends. Not the friends you occasionally meet for a coffee - although they are great too - but the friends you cannot imagine existing without. The ones who make you feel that there is a space in the world that was made for you, and that space is among them all.
I am obsessed with my mates. I think they’re the bee’s knees. I am absolutely fully convinced that my friends are the best friends in existence, and I will not countenance any argument that says otherwise. I feel supremely lucky when it comes to the kind of friends you would trust with your life; apparently most people only have two or three, but I must have at least ten, and they are the absolute best people I know.
I also feel lucky because I genuinely believe that being disabled makes my friendships stronger. When there’s so many places you can’t go, you soon learn who is happy to check access and who leaves it to you. You know which friends will never even think it’s annoying that 90% of your meet-ups happen in the flat. And you know who will come and stay, no questions asked, because you have a new carer and you’re stressed, as a good friend did this weekend. Access intimacy - a term activist Nina Tame uses to describe not having to explain or ask for you needs to be met - is one of the highest forms of love. It makes me feel all fuzzy inside. I hope, too, that being disabled has made me a better friend. If nothing else, I have no concept of anything being too much information.
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