A disability rights advocate chronicles her own journey of self-acceptance.
Growing up during the 1950s and 1960s, Jones, exhibiting the prevalent attitudes of the time, pitied or overlooked those with disabilities and chronic illnesses even as she herself showed signs of a compromised immune system. As she grew into young adulthood, her problems with exhaustion increased as did her awareness of human rights, spurred by both the civil rights movement and her own career choice, working with people with disabilities. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivity, diseases that, to her frustration, many dismissed as psychological. Eventually, after trying every possible cure—pharmaceutical, diets galore, New-Age treatments, etc.—Jones hit upon her own blend of helpful adaptations. Primarily through self-awareness and self-forgiveness, she learned to focus on her abilities rather than disabilities and to stop defending the legitimacy of her condition to doubters. Jones’ debut memoir/self-help book emphasizes the positive, although not in any Pollyanna way. Quoting diverse sources, from those who have experienced chronic illnesses to Captain Kirk (“I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. I only know what I can do”), Jones has written an engrossing memoir. Its greatest appeal is in her common-sense attitude to take each challenge as it comes. Just reading the chapter titles (“The Power of Acceptance”; “Try Another Way”; “The Language of Power”; and “Lather, Rinse, Repeat”) serves as a reminder of her message.
An empowering memoir/self-help book for anyone contending with a hidden disability or chronic illness.