I live in society. Society doesn’t impact me and my ADHD all that much, except when I have deadlines for work (I work freelance, from home). The fact that I have trouble making and following plans, changing activities, completing projects, and all kinds of other things that are impacted by executive dysfunction? That’s not something society is causing. That’s stuff that impacts my personal life, totally away from society. I have trouble accomplishing the things I want to do in my life, on my own terms, because I like them and want to do them. That’s got nothing to do with society and everything to do with my ADHD.
That’s why I don’t like the social model of disability all by itself. I am objectively disabled, totally apart from society, and I know this because of my life circumstances. My life is easier now that I don’t work outside the home, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still disabled.
I prefer the social-relational model of disability. It’s still not perfect, but it explains my life much better than just the medical model or just the social model.
I have a bunch of posts about this over at this blog.
I don’t know what chronic illness you apparently have, but I’m so sorry that it hurts you. Fortunately, any medications to help alleviate pain that have been proven to be safe, healthy, and effective, are pretty available, so I’m not quite sure what you mean by society saying you “don’t deserve them”.
Here is the way I was taught to think about disability as a social construct:
A disability can be anything that needs an accommodation to fully function. A very simple idea is that of glasses. Those with poor eyesight, can’t see as well as those with perfect eyesight. Glasses are an accommodation meant to assist those with disabled vision.
It can be as simple as that, but in most cases, things always get complicated.
The medical model of disability says the person is responsible and at fault for anything bad that happens to them. Either by their own actions or by real chemical complications.
The social model of disability says the world has some issues and it affects people. Society has created stigmas and made disabilities by a comparison on what they deem is “normal”.
The two work TOGETHER in a way. ADHD can be viewed in the medical model as ADHD is literally chemicals in your brain not doing what they are supposed to. It is also viewed in the social model, in that it is society’s job to accept this disability and work to help.
As MJ and J both said, most disabilities are a combination of both. It’s hard to be an ADHDer because society expects us to do things that are hard to do with ADHD. Society has also provided accommodations and treatments to make some things easier to do. However, my brain is just not as good as most people’s at some things, and the only situation I could possibly imagine in which my different brain would not be in any way disabling is if I were a billionaire and literally had people doing all the things for me. Like paying my bills, answering my emails, making my food, telling me when to go to bed, doing my laundry, driving and parking my car, cleaning my house, hiring more people to do things for me, and going shopping for me. However, in my fantasy of being a billionaire, I always end up becoming an eternal student and studying everything because I like studying things, and even with people doing literally everything else but my research for me, and even though I would love my research, I would procrastinate my research and not do it until I freaked out at the last minute. So even then, I would be disabled by ADHD.