Challenges. Hope. Strength.
These are the words that come to mind when I think about my disability. While it created obstacles, it has also unearthed strength and resilience.
Resilience has always been present in my life. After a diagnosis of moderate to severe Cerebral Palsy (CP), doctors doubted I would ever walk or talk. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Cerebral Palsy, it is a movement disorder caused by brain damage at birth. Doctors remained firm that I’d face severe limitations. I proved otherwise. Despite the diagnosis, my disability is now minor. I faced many surgeries throughout my lifetime, but bounce back stronger each time.
CP acted as a core motivation in deciding a career path. The challenges and barriers I faced throughout my life spurred me towards social work. My disability motivates my strength. It also motivated this post. I write this post to share my story, in the hope that it resonates with others who have lived experience with a disability.
Beauty and Hope
I discussed this idea in an earlier post. Inner and outer beauty are both important. The surgical scars that map my body do not diminish beauty. This realization was a crucial step in my journey through CP. It took time to accept that my scars are part of me, of who I am, and they contribute to my beauty. I am unique, and strong, because of these scars. In life, a person will cycle through trials, growth, suffering, and hope. How we navigate these cycles either break or build us. These cycles helped me gain perspective on the importance of perseverance, and hope. My disability has knocked me down, but has built me back up again.
How CP has Affected Me
My disability has not been both negative and positive. It affected me in multiple ways. Negative aspects of my disability include physical aspects. I am unable to walk for extended periods of time. I have experienced varying degrees of body pain, and consequent surgeries as a result. My scars created despair about my body. I learned to overcome this and let sunlight in instead of darkness. Despite the negative aspects, my disability gifted me with a wealth of positivity.