Note: I thought it would be funny to keep the placeholder title from the draft of this post, and honestly couldn't think of a better one so please enjoy.
Hello everyone! Allison here once again. Something you’ll notice about these posts is that they frequently end up being about how we are gaslit by capitalism. What you may not know is that often we start out with other intentions. This week’s post was supposed to be about the tiers we’re working on, and how we plan to revamp them to be more sustainable for us as creators. Instead, once again, you will be getting a personal account of how capitalism has invaded my self perception and how I am just starting to overcome it.
Today's Capitalism(™) of choice is in regards to my perception of my own body and health, which is a recurring theme. Content warning here for discussion of internalized ableism.
So a bit of background on me: I come from a centrist white upper middle class family. Close your eyes and picture the most stereotypical version of this that you can, and that probably looks very close to my family. My mother was a teacher and my father was a pilot who for the first thirty years of employment never called in sick for a single day. This was a point of pride, and one that I deeply internalized.
I’ve known some of the ways this has impacted me, and try to mitigate them. I have always seen myself as exceptionally healthy and resilient. Believed I get sick a lot less than the average person. But this week I woke up with an eye infection. I planned to take no breaks from as much of my daily work as possible (it's all remote and how does having one less eye make me any less effective as a game designer?) when I had a lightbulb moment. I am sitting at my computer with eye swollen shut writing this post one week late and I realize that just because you don’t take time off for being sick, doesn’t mean you’re never sick. It just means you haven’t acknowledged your own illnesses. I realize that I might not be “hearty”, instead that I just might have been ignoring all the ways my body had been communicating to me that it wasn’t OK. That I get sick just as often, if not more, than the average person, but that I haven’t let myself accept that.
Maybe you’ll get tired of hearing this (but if you’re here, I may be preaching to the choir), but being part of a work environment where I am encouraged to speak about how I feel both physically and emotionally has helped me become more aware of my own feelings and capabilities. Expressing that I am not feeling well makes it more real. This is both a blessing and a curse. I get to finally be sick sometimes, but it also means that I actually am sick sometimes! Which is hard when you have placed a large chunk of your value from how much you can power through. I’m hoping to turn this awareness into acceptance, but it is definitely a journey.
To end on a more cheerful note, please enjoy these cross stitches of my cats made by Soft Chaos collaborator Jenny Bacons.