Oh, Hey! It’s Alyssa #57: Autonomy

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our A+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining A+ and supporting the people who make this indie queer media site possible?

Join A+!

A. Andrews

A. is a totally complete incomplete paraplegic and thirty-something hanky-in-the-pocket cartoonist weirdo!

A. has written 69 articles for us.


  1. Thank you. This resonated with me SO MUCH.

    In the far reaches of my brain I, a person with a disability, had to be stubbornly independent to be successful in life. I had to take care of my self and not need anyone.

    I did it! I’m a success…and boy is it lonely. I’ve only recently started to learn this lesson.

  2. I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week. I recently moved from Minneapolis where I biked/bused everywhere to a city where it’s pretty hard to do that all the time. I’m struggling with having to ask for rides and get help in that way. I desperately want the independence I had in Minneapolis back but I know I want to work for a world where we embrace interdependence. It’s just so hard to take the steps toward that while still in the “do everything on your own” culture of the US.

    • This is a really interesting comment, Yasi, thank you – I also currently live in a community where I can walk, bike or bus a lot but may move to a place where that isn’t true. Being able to walk/bike/bus _feels_ very something that we call independent, but it isn’t really – we depend on the bus driver, the people who maintain the buses and roads, city council to pass taxes to pay for all that, fellow city residents to pay their taxes and not run bike-riders off the road, etc. So is it that that dependence is just a lot less obvious to us, so we don’t think to resent it? Or that it’s harder to depend on people we know because the obligation/inconvenience is to a person we interact with directly?

      My grandfather strongly resisted using his cane and his oxygen after his stroke because they represented loss of independence. As both a therapist and his granddaughter I wanted to say Pop! The damn cane and oxygen are what KEEP you independent! Not that the situations are exactly parallel, I just wonder if they both highlight something about the role of our emotions around our perceived independence.

      Hope you find a way to ask for what you need. You are worth it.

  3. I truly believe if I could take all your Oh, Hey! It’s Alyssa comics back to high school me, I would’ve made it out a lot healthier and would’ve gotten the help I needed sooner

    I love this one so much, it reminds me of that quote, “If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.” Thank you for reminding me to go with others and make sure they’re not alone too.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!