Some times it takes a mammoth act of will to keep one's spirit from becoming bitter or endlessly outraged. I know people, many people, who because of one circumstance or another have ended up having their soul's overtaken by anger - terrifying people who live at the edge of their temper, looking for reason to fly into tantrum. I do not, WILL not become one of their number. I WILL to hopefulness and optimism.
There is a fellow disability blogger who feels and has stated that my approach to life and to activism is endlessly naive, that the world has gone to hell in a handcart and that there needs to be more 'rage' and less 'inspiration' in what I write. To that I said, 'I asked for advice?' Of course I have the capacity for rage and I tilt against injustice, but I choose these as moments not as a lifestyle.
But as I say, sometimes it takes a mammoth act of will.
Joe and I were on our way down to a store a few blocks south of us to pick up a wool duvet (there is another story there but you'll only hear it if I can get Joe to write it, he tells the story so much better than I) and we noticed a Mexican restaurant that was accessible. I gingerly suggested that we stop there on the way back, it was after dark, we are seldom out after dark, Joe had been planning on ordering pizza. I could see that his whole body was repelled by the idea of stopping at a restaurant for dinner but he said 'Yes.' I think because Christmas is coming and I am the primary source for his loot.
So we headed up towards the restaurant. We got there and Joe went to open the door that would allow me flat and straight access. It was locked. He undid the top lock but it still would not open. He couldn't find the bottom lock. The waitress came and tried to find it, she could not. The entrance had two outer double doors which led a few feet later to two inner double doors. It was set up so that the right of the outer door opened and then the left inner door opened. This meant that I'd have to go in make a sharp turn followed immediately by another sharp turn, my chair was just too long to do it.
I then suggested they open the other inner door. They'd just have to move a few chairs for me to get in. The waitress was willing but the door was not, it was nailed shut. We could not get in. The waitress was really apologetic and said she'd speak to the owner and get it fixed such that people with disabilities like mine could get in. She was very nice about a situation that she did not control.
We left on our way home to pizza. We, neither of us, spoke for awhile. I wanted to get really upset and rage against the fact that ONCE I want to go out for dinner and the frigging restaurant is set up to frustrate that desire. I wanted the entire evening to fall into disrepair and for my mood to dominate the next several hours. I stopped my chair, took a breath, told myself to let it go. It was hard, but I did.
I refuse, refuse, to be 'that guy' ... 'that guy you don't want to be around because he's just so damned depressing'. Yet, I also refuse to the that 'other guy' ... 'that other guy who just let's things roll off his back, the guy with a smiley face for a heart'. I'm going to follow up with that restaurant and I assure you it will be accessible before the New Year. Anger is OK if it turns to action, it's not OK if it turns to a way of living.
At least in my view.