At Dirty Bourbon, many of us suffer from invisible disabilities/illnesses. We know how hard it is to explain how you’re feeling when on the outside you look fine.
October 16-22, 2022 is invisible disability week, and while we advocate for our friends and community with invisible disabilities every day, there’s more advocates out there we think you should meet.
So this week, we’re highlighting other advocates who educate, support, and lift up our community’s voices.
Today, we’re featuring Allison Tennyson, @microcatmachine on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. An amazing advocate who makes content highlighting her day to day life living with an invisible disability.
She cute, she strong, and she advocates for anyone living with an invisible disability so they can feel strong too. :D
Dirty Bourbon: Why do you advocate?
Allison Tennyson: I advocate because it’s important to me to be the person that I needed when I was growing up. I advocate because I have been through a lot, and I take my recovery seriously. I advocate because I don’t want anyone to feel alone, misunderstood, or unloved. Advocacy is important because it empowers myself and others. In March 2020, I became sick, and I never got better. It was such a struggle trying to figure out what was wrong with me - it took years, and it shouldn’t have to take years. I advocate so it doesn’t take even longer for myself and for others.
DB: What's one thing you wish people would understand about your invisible disability?
AT: I wish that people who do not have my type of invisible disability would understand that I do not feel like them. The nondisabled tend to think that if we just ‘pushed harder’ and ‘tried more’, we wouldn’t be disabled. When in fact, that’s not true at all. For example, I suffer from post exertional malaise, which means activity makes me feel like I have the flu. The more I do, the worse I feel and the worse my symptoms become. Rest is not rejuvenating for me. Although I look ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ on the outside, I’m in loads of distress and discomfort on the inside.
(Check out Allison’s Insta post about this exact topic!)
DB: How does spoon theory apply to you, if at all?
AT: I have to make deliberate decisions everyday as to where I’m going to use my energy. And I know that if I overdo it today, then I will be ‘out of spoons’/energy-less for days or possibly even weeks. I see everything in terms of energy consumption - what tasks will consume my energy and how much energy will the task consume. It’s learning to not be disappointed when I cannot do everything that I want to.
DB: What drew you to Dirty Bourbon, what does the brand mean to you?
AT: The designs drew me to the brand, and Jame’s empathetic and kind personality made me absolutely fall in love with the brand. I love how relatable the messages are. I love the designs! Great styles and colors! Dirty Bourbon Clothing is the chef’s kiss!
DB: What’s the hardest thing you’ve overcome in life?
AT: The hardest things I’ve overcome in my life are learning to love myself and learning to see my worth. I’ve lived through a lot of incredibly traumatic situations that taught me that I am unloveable, and it’s been a lot of work trying to rewire the way I think about myself.
DB: What's a good day look like for you?
AT: A good day looks like minimal symptoms, no stressful tasks or chores to do, and no appointments.
DB: What's one thing you love about yourself?
AT: My heart - my heart that drives me to keep moving forward and to never give up. My heart that is overwhelmed with love for all of my family, friends, and followers.
You can follow Allison on Insta, Facebook, TikTok or Twitter, and if you’re looking for more of her fav products and sites, you can find her linktree here!