Definition of disability

“You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.”

Reading this definition planted a seed of doubt in my mind. I begin to question my definitions. Could my being unable to maintain regular employment without succumbing to crippling stress be classed as a “substantial negative effect”? My propensity to dissolve into tears as a coping mechanism has always become an issue in every job, no matter how hard I work to make up for it. Persistent emotional breakdowns due to stress have become “normal” for me over the last twenty-five years.

"Most striking was the cloud's absolute stillness. It was as though it had been painted straight onto the glass, to be curated into this sublime gallery experience, especially for me. I was enchanted"
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This lesson was still fresh in my mind as I came to fill in the medical questionnaire later that day. I didn’t expect to find an existential crisis in some routine paperwork, but the cloud and the combination of the two questions met in my mind and got me thinking. That cloud was a metaphor for me, for my life. Internally, living with Asperger’s is like existing inside a cloud. Everyone and everything they do is confusing, I’m totally surrounded, without any reference points, or anything to anchor to. I’m lost in my own grey fog, with no idea where my boundaries are, or what shape I am.

"Internally, living with Asperger’s is like existing inside a cloud. Everyone and everything they do is confusing. I’m lost in my own grey fog, with no idea where my boundaries are, or what shape I am."