Some of us are fairly independent, (no-one is fully independent in an interdependent society).
Some of us may need helping hands to exist, sometimes in little ways, sometimes in seemingly big ways, which can seem even larger if policies have been created that make solutions much harder to access or create.
Some people’s basic medical needs which make it possible for them to exist are expensive, and these survival needs may seem elitist to others who can’t afford them, because the system is set up to make healthier (and for some, medically necessary) options more expensive and unavailable to everyone, even though everyone would benefit from access to them.
Society has also been conditioned to add on a quiet “they must be doing something wrong if they can’t manage independently”, and “I can’t afford those things that I would like to have too”, or “I had to work my ass off for those things, why should someone get them for free”.
Are you feeling lucky today that your basic needs are being met?
Here’s a list of questions to consider:
If you have never been homeless, consider yourself lucky.
If you have never been on ODSP, (or other deep poverty level provincial disability benefits) consider yourself lucky.
If you’ve never had to exist on +/- $1200 mo (CDN) for ALL living expenses, like rent, food, clothing, cleaning, transportation, phone, internet, etc, and almost all medical and disability related needs, consider yourself lucky.
If you found a safe enough accessible place years ago where you can still afford to exist, consider yourself lucky.
If you haven’t had to search for any affordable housing in the past 10 years, consider yourself lucky.
If you haven’t had to do this in the past 3 years, consider yourself very lucky.
If you have never had to find a wheelchair accessible place, consider yourself lucky.
If you have never had to find a wheelchair accessible place, when living far below the poverty line, consider yourself lucky.
If you have never had multiple disabling conditions, consider yourself lucky.
If you have never had all those with MCS and MCAS, consider yourself lucky.
If you can eat anything you want, whenever you want, and don’t have all kinds of adverse reactions to many common, inexpensive foods, consider yourself lucky.
If you don’t have to avoid fragranced products, places fragranced products have been used or are in use, vehicle exhaust, new building materials or furnishings, many plastics, pesticides, and other things or places with hazardous chemicals, consider yourself lucky.
If you’ve never had to ask people to change the products they use, or ask a list of questions to determine if some thing, place, or food might be safe or harmful for you, consider yourself lucky.
If you think there’s a social safety net that prevents disabled people from being literally abandoned or pushed to death, consider yourself lucky.
If you have never faced systemic policy obstacles and barriers and gaslighting because you need an accessible, appropriate for your disability and medical needs, place to live, with a monthly income of $1200 for all living expenses, consider yourself lucky.
If you have never had to spend a ridiculous amount of money, be it from savings, borrowed, or donated, on a temporary situation because it’s the only one that is survivable with multiple disabilities, consider yourself lucky.
If you have never had to go public and then have all kinds of assumptions, judgements, and hatred thrown your way, consider yourself lucky.
If you have never been afraid of the very real possibility of being on the street with no safe place to go, repeatedly, with no system that cares to keep you alive because it’s more convenient for them to make you dead, consider yourself lucky.
Now combine all this (and more) and tell me how you think your mental health would be right now?
If you think “fine”, consider yourself lucky.
If you have appropriate mental health help that is covered by whatever health plan you have, consider yourself lucky.
If your basic needs are being met, consider yourself lucky.
These days, too many people aren’t that lucky.
Do we deserve to die when our lives are inconvenient to the toxic economy, when our deaths are otherwise easily preventable?
Please direct your emotions at the system, not at those who are harmed by it.
Denise hasn’t been so lucky lately, and really needs our helping hands.
The only safe enough accessible place she has found is temporary, very expensive, and they are raising their rates.
The powers that be refuse to pay for this so she can stay alive, yet don’t answer when she asks where else she should stay.
Many obstacles and delays have been created in her path, with the aim of making her seem unreasonable, when nothing medically suitable has been made available.
If you can find anything MCS and wheelchair accessible in Toronto, something a portable subsidy could cover, please leave a comment.
If you can donate to keep her alive, please do. Otherwise, and also, please share: