OK, what if?

Regarding that video going around about how “what if we talked about physical health the absurd way we talk about mental health”(*link at bottom) that’s going around… another version of similar things i’ve seen over the years:
i get that it’s an important conversation. i know intimately that the ways so many people talk about mental health is fucked up. But this “what if” framing is not how i’d want to build connection across disability, and i don’t think it helps move the conversation forward, Here’s a piece of why:
People DO talk this way. It isn’t a “what if” at all.
More often than not people DO talk about disabled people’s physical health this way. They literally DO tell us to just try harder! think nicer thoughts! buck up! just don’t focus on the pain/ cane/ fatigue/ disease/ wheelchair/ inhaler/ torn cornea, regularly dislocated whatever, etc! you’re just imagining it! just be a better person and all that negative energy will drift away! etc. They look right at us and say these things, with absolute certainty in their trembling tear-filled cartoon cat eyes.
But because the truths of disabled folks’ lives are routinely dismissed/ erased/ minimized/ used as cautionary tales/ etc, huge swaths of inconvenient disabled people can easily be removed from these “what if” experiments to tidy them up to try to explain it to non-disabled folks; and so sure, the reality of these kinds of comments might seem absurd to some. But as a multiply disabled person? i gotta tell you that i and many others regularly experience these same comments about our physical disabilities (which includes the erasure of other stuff we have going on).
We don’t have to imagine it. We live it.
But what if we didn’t have to? Do you think that could have an impact on mental health? What would it look like if -on top of the other stuff we have going on- we didn’t also have to constantly navigate the erasure of our experiences? Didn’t constantly have to defend our right to exist? Weren’t always being pitted against other disabled folks for crumbs and clicks? Imagine that!
i have more to say about this, but will leave it here for now.
*re:  facebook.com/attn/videos/1391599620875493/

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