A picture that reads Diversity-Inclusion-Accessibility-Covering-Allyship with various background images including arms of different colors joining together, various hands stacked in a group, a blue bus with accessibility logos, a red-haired woman wearing a green shirt with her hands over her face, and construction paper cutouts of people holding hands around the world.

You might be wondering what exactly DIA-CA is. It has nothing to do with the airport I live near in Denver, or California for that matter. Instead, it's an acronym I have coined (in other words I made it up) for this new topic I want to start highlighting in my blog. It stands for Diversity and Inclusion, Accessibility, Covering, and Allyship. 

This new page and series of blogs is something I want to explore. I have been a bit distracted and distant lately, for a lot of reasons; but mostly because I am exhausted, emotionally and physically. Many of you know that I got "long-COVID" in the fall last year, but what most people don't know is about the silent struggle that has been going on most of my life. I have been "covering" many of "symptoms" and "behaviors" most of my life. Some successfully and others not as much. 
I am neurodivergent. I am a veteran. I am a woman in tech. I have multiple autoimmune disorders. I identify as a person with a disability. I wish I was ready to say more, but I'm still covering and not ready to reveal my full diagnosis/details to the world. It's hard saying if modern medicine has even fully or correctly diagnosed me, but to some extent, I'm not sure it matters. I am unique, I am me, I am learning to love and accept me for me, and I hope you can do the same.

The picture reads: I am neurodivergent (but not broken). The image contains two hands holding a caption box that is broken in half.
I recently started seeing a psychologist at the recommendation of one of my doctors. It's been an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least. I'm hopeful that if I write about my journey and my learnings and my lived experience it might help me heal. What might be even better, is if I can foster growth, learning, acceptance, stronger allies, better inclusion, or less covering in one other person--then this is totally worth it.

The image shows a cartoon depiction of a roller coaster. Each car on the rollercoaster shows a different emoticon face ranging from sad to happy.

I ask you for grace, just as I am allowing myself some grace as I explore these difficult topics. Much of what I will express are my own feelings, emotions, experiences, and viewpoints--which can't be wrong. If you have different feelings, emotions, experiences, or viewpoints, I encourage you to comment and share (your feelings, emotions, experiences, and viewpoints cannot be wrong either). As long as you are not negative or attacking, your comments will be allowed. 

The picture shows two hands holding a piece of cardboard that reads have grace for me, you, and others.


Reframing Weird: A short story on why I think I am weird and why I am not actually weird (and you aren't weird either...unless you are an alien or a supernatural creature).
Reframing Thoughts: I Suck at Emotions - I explore my thoughts about emotions and what I have learned about mentalizing.
Covering: Chronic Fatigue: A short story about how I experience fatigue every day of my life and how I try to hide my exhaustion from others. Tips are included for being an ally to someone with chronic fatigue.


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