First, I want to start out by saying I appreciate all you who read my blog and want you all to known my intention on this site. I do what I do because I love to write and express my creativity but mostly to share in my experiences in hopes that I can help or be of encouragement to someone out there. I can only hope that my blog is doing just that. If there is anything you want to see or hear me write about please let me know.
As we all know having and living with limitations (disability) can be quite a task at times. As children and teens we learned to adapt and adjust to our unique situation. I call it a unique situation, because, everyone of us and the limitations we live with are different to some degree. Especially in the cp world where there are no one case of cerebral palsy exactly identical. We are all different to some degree yet have so many similarities at the same time.
I recall as a child figuring out how to do stuff on my own, because, I did not know anyone like me with the same struggles and limitations I have. Being determined to be independent and do things myself, I would watch people do a task with two hands and figure a way to do that same task with one hand. As I got older, I was introduced to others at that age in my teens that had similar limitations and challenges. I have and was given tools, tips and equipment to help me be independent.
Did you struggle this way? Can you relate to my experience? Did you have to learn to do stuff yourself and adapt just to feel successful at a task?
As we age as adults this can also be challenging, as well. Its not only hard to gain independence while we are young, but, it can be just as harder to give up or adapt to giving away some of that independence when we get older. Some of you may already be at this stage of life, lets just say I’m not looking forward to aging any time soon. It is reality though and part of the facts of life. Even though for example, cerebral palsy does not get worse as we age, but the aging process can make it difficult and challenging for us with cerebral palsy.
There are tools such as equipment to assist us in our daily lives. Such as cooking equipment(ex: one handed cutting boards, one handed steak knife, adaptive utensils and so on.) you get the picture. I have also found it helpful to talk to those older than me that have the same challenges so that I can get tips and tricks of what to do or expect at certain times specifically, when it comes to the aging process.
When aging it is ok to ask for help and perfectly fine to get the help we need. I believe, it does get harder to be as dependent as we age than when we were younger. There are options however, there are caregivers, cna’s, assisted living homes and so on that we can look at to chose from. Making these decisions can be difficult but at the same time life changing.
I personally want to be able to stay as independent as long as I possibly can, I’m sure there are some of you that feel the same way. I do not know what others do to accomplish this goal, but I thought I’d share with you what I do to accomplish that goal for myself. I try to be good to myself as good to myself as possible. What do you mean, you may be asking? I do my best to eat right, exercise and take care of myself mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
We all know its hard to live up to expectations, especially, when they are from other people. I personally have stopped trying to please and meet others’ expectations, instead, I try to live for my own expectations and I have found that doing this I am a happier person. I’ve learned I do not have to meet other’s expectations but I need to live for myself and do the best I can at doing what I am capable of doing. So, please do not live for others rather live for yourself and do things that make you happy not someone else. I create goals for myself and break the big goal down into doable little goals to reach my big goal. I do it for me not others. So, I challenge you to create your own expectations. It is also less pressuring this way at least that has been my personal experience.
I’ve learned over the years it pays to be take care of myself spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally. I know when I exercise, I do not feel so tense, it makes me feel better about myself. To help myself mentally I work on things like puzzles, writing, crosswords and solitaire along with reading. Other things I’ve discovered is aroma therapy with using essential oils and natural remedies to help with my joint pain, taking vitamins and natural tea’s to help me regulate my blood sugar. These are just a few things that I do to help me be independent and to help me be good to myself.
The best thing I learned was to accept my condition. I was after all born with cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. This does not mean I can not do stuff, quite the opposite. I have gone through college, worked as a cna, Im a published author and writer. As you can see I’m highly capable to do stuff myself. Im not bragging, please do not take it that way. I mentioned all that to encourage others that it is possible that you having limitations can reach goals and overcome obstacles as well as I did. Not to mention I am also a mother and grandmother.
Learning to love yourself and accept your limitations can help you feel empowered and confident that you can do anything you set your mind to. Im leaving a couple reference articles at the bottom that you can enjoy and that will hopefully help you on your journey of being independent and staying as independent as long as possible. Happy reading everyone!