Longevity is powered by Vocal creators. You support Iria Vasquez-Paez by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Longevity is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Fight the Good Fight


Ableism means that somebody is not taking into account a disability. It is like telling somebody in a wheelchair to get up and walk when they can’t. Or pointing out a person with diabetes’ need for insulin, to tell them they are a waste of space. Great. Such a swell comment, because sometimes people will slip up and tell those of us with knee injuries to kneel in certain situations when we can’t. Ableism makes people feel ashamed of themselves. I have an enormous shame complex of mine that I’m working on ridding myself of. I spent my entire childhood sleep deprived.

In college, some of the adrenal fatigue wore off when I got meds to help me sleep at night since I had gotten off my meds and was seeing the wrong sort of psychiatrist. I was not able to see a proper psychiatrist until 2012. This is when I got on my current set of meds. Adrenal fatigue was causing me huge boils that got me stared at on campus. Great. Such mean children. Their drama was exhausting to deal with. Eventually, I wound up with a new set of roommates that I had chosen for myself.

The school was picky about who they allowed living together but my choice was a graduate student since I wanted to take my work deathly serious. Ableism often means that somebody doesn’t take into account a person’s mental illness. My current set of meds makes me able to deal with social things a bit better. So these days, I’m on the ball a lot of the time with understanding what people are trying to tell me. Or picking up on social cues. I used to be mistaken for somebody on the autism spectrum but I’m actually schizophrenic. Psychological testing revealed that I have schizophrenia.

I didn’t know about this until 2012 thereabouts. I was clueless as to my own mental illness. My family didn’t tell me what I was dealing with. My mental health is under control now but I still get paranoid in social situations. In particular, with other mentally ill people. I get paranoid pretty much often. Not all the time but when I feel that way I know to raise my meds. This is why I raised my meds last night. I feel more or less rested today. High school was terrible for me because I didn’t sleep very well at night.

I spent my whole life constantly sleep deprived, also not given medication for this. I would have had more fun in high school if I had been on a medication then. I didn’t find my way to the dole until 2009. I was unstable until 2011 or 2012 when I finally got stable. Imagine all that wasted time. I could have spent it working but I was ill. I was an alcoholic from 2002-2010 when I decided to quit drinking. Ableism implies that an alcoholic can just stop drinking when, in fact, they have severe impairments where they don’t. They don’t understand they have impairments. They drink without realizing that it is causing impaired thinking. They can’t recognize themselves in this or stop. I had a high tolerance for alcohol in college where there was peer pressure to drink. The mean roommates were only nice to me when I drank. It took strength to turn away from alcoholism and quit drinking altogether. I have managed eight years sober. I’m doing better than I thought I would while living on my own. I’m able to leave the house today. Yesterday I stayed put because I had a massive high blood sugar in the middle of the night. I lowered my basal rate to see what I was last night, which was 207 so I am still pissed off at that and I raised it again. I’m striving for perfect diabetes here. Mine is a bit hard to deal with sometimes as I have a hard version of the Beast to control. But I try and I make sure to try. Ableism doesn’t stop me from being busy. 

Now Reading
Fight the Good Fight
Read Next
Starting a New Workout Routine