Welcome to the 50th Disability Blog Carnival. I am very impressed and happy that we've made it to 50 editions and very pleased to be hosting the 50th Edition.
Tonight (Matthew), our theme is going to be "I am" (apologies for the crap joke that only Brits will understand and is rubbish but I couldn't resist!). Once again I thought the topic would bring one sort of submission and was both pleased and surprised by the difference from what I expected and what we have here.
First a warning that if you comment on my blog there is a high possibility I will go to your blog and find something I like. And if that happens and I'm hosting the carnival, well, you'll find it there. That's what happened when Erin commented on my blog for the first time this week. She's written a poem called "My Name is Cerebral Palsy" which I really like. 16 is a tough age. 16 with CP is even tougher - I hated being disabled around that age and Erin's poem reminds me of what it was like. It's a very honest poem and although Erin describes it as slightly depressing I'm not sure it is. As a contrasting response I would offer a poem of mine, written in May 2006, It Doesn't Have Me.
Next we come to something which I think is a first for the Disability Blog Carnival. Ricky regularly leaves comments on my blog (and maybe some of yours, I don't know) but doesn't have a blog of his own. I have attempted to convince him to set one up but he prefers not to. So I have posted the comments Ricky wanted to contribute to the carnival in a separate entry on my own blog and you can read them here.
One thing this topic seems to have inspired it lots of honesty. I think that's brilliant because in my opinion only by being completely honest about our lives and our disabilities - both the good and the bad - can we truly bring awareness and change.
It's not always easy to be so honest, particularly not on the Internet (unless you are an anonymous blogger, something I occasionally wish I was) so I really respect those who find it hard but do it anyway. Cheryl told me she wasn't sure she'd have the guts to post this - I'm Thankful talks about the changes she has gone through since being diagnosed as bipolar.
I'm Not Dead says Elizabeth as she writes about her recent experiences and how Heaven is like McDonalds.
The Goldfish has been thinking about voluntary euthanasia and suicide. She has written two entries on the subject here and here. Oh and her off topic mention of daytime tv in the first entry along with the first three comments on there made me laugh. More real honesty there.
Truthfully I wish I was confident/secure enough to have that level of honesty in my blogging. Lately I've been left reading comments on several occasions thinking that whilst I welcome the comments those leaving them have missed what I was trying to say. I'm not really sure if I need to make my writing clearer from that point of view or if it's just the natural thing of the internet whereby things (discussion in this case) doesn't always follow the path you expect. With blogs and text you do miss out on a lot of the cues you would get in a conversation such as tone and emphasis. It's not a bad thing here. Also over the last few months several people I know have mentioned reading my blog to me and commented in person on stuff. I love that people read my blog and it's what I want. But I must admit that when people do so in person it makes me wibble a bit.
Ettina has posted a very appropriate piece for this topic (and it's something I have considered writing many times but never fully done). Her Life Story post is well worth the time taken to read.
In I am: Someone Who Speaks Up, Shiloh discusses what she is and what recent events have made her realise about herself.
SueBabe is a blogger I've not met before but who has been thinking and talking about a lot of things I've been thinking about it seems from the entry she submitted (unfortunately I've had little time to read more of her blog and get to know her better but it's on my list). And she's Thriving Not Just Surviving.
Think Freestyle posted this letter to her blog wondering if she'd actually send it. It's a great letter and it starts with "I am..."
Miss CripChick is feeling disappointed, hurt and betrayed. In Dear ADA Generation she shares those feelings.
Arin has shared how she thinks things would have been a lot harder without access to the blogs of people in similar circumstances and has written in Health Blogs about this and about other uses of blogs in the health field.
Ashley Kate is a cute kid whose been having a tough time lately. In Finally her mom, Trish, shares how she felt when someone finally told her "I'm going to be honest with you" and actually explained just why they were having so many problems setting up the needed infusion. It struck a cord with me as did her thoughts on the business side of healthcare which are in the same entry (we have different problems here in the UK and I think they are less but they are still there and still frustrating). And in this post she shares how she enjoyed an unusual first a few days ago and the opportunity to be a parent for once.
Finally, I personally am always very happy when I hear about stories like this one posted on Nicole's blog about her girls.
Well actually, that wasn't the final link I have to share here but it is the final on topic one.
Cheryl is doing a paper on Prostitution and Crips and wonders if people would mind completing her survey
The next Carnival will be hosted by Shiloh over at Sunny Dreamer. It's topic is favourite quotes, songs, writings, scriptures etc - specifically the ones that you turn to during the bad times and how they help. Submissions can be via the blogcarnival submission form (inaccessible captcha in use there) or via e-mail to Shiloh - firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't know about Shiloh but personally always find it useful if people mark submissions with carnival or something similar in the subject as it helps avoid mistaking them for spam.
Thank you for submitting to the carnival and for taking the time to read it. I hope you will meet some new bloggers and maybe leave them some comments as you read.
EDIT: I am annoyed and ashamed that I missed out a couple of links. Especially as they are ones I read originally and really liked.
Ricki's Mom has written about being able to say "I am in control" in That Little Smidgen of Independence Part One and Part Two
And Sally over at Maggie World has written Club Members about being a parent of a disabled child and finding herself member of a different sort of club.