Learning to live with a physical disability requires so much effort and resolution. It is not easy to do things without all your five senses working, primarily when you were not born with this condition. If you cannot see, you need a guide dog or ask another human being to help you. If you cannot speak, it will be a challenge to express yourself to people who do not understand sign language. Furthermore, even though you know that you can hold a particular job as any fully-abled person, it might be uneasy to find a company that hires people with disability.
Nevertheless, your life should not stop revolving because of your physical condition. There are still different ways to live a full life despite having a debility.
Take Care Of Yourself
Admit it or not, knowing that you carry a disability on one part of your body tends to make you feel like your whole system has a problem. You refuse to eat or go to therapy because you believe that either activity cannot help you regain the senses you lost. You develop dangerous habits, thinking that you are already a total failure anyway. You waste your time asking yourself a lot of whys.
We cannot blame you for feeling as if the entire world is against you. It is not within our means as well to guarantee that your hardships will go away soon. Despite that, once you look after yourself and concentrate on building up other body parts that still function, you may not consider yourself as disabled as before.
“There’s no one size-fits-all formula. Key activities include lifestyle medicine, creative pursuits, hobbies, time with loved ones, and positive mental dialogue,” writes Kristen Lee Ed.D., LICSW
Think Of Your Strengths
Your situation may not seem so bleak once you remember your strengths. If we are honest, an unfortunate incident may rob you of one or two abilities, but it does not mean that you have no other skills to show. Stevie Wonders, after all, may not be able to see, yet he can sing and play music. Although Stephen Hawking could not talk or move, it did not stop him from teaching, writing, and discovering.
Only you can tell where your strengths lie. Nobody can look for them on your behalf since the talents are within you. It would be great if you let them come out by not stressing too much about your disability.
“Problems and upsetting emotions stick with us like glue. Strengths can help bring greater balance to this equation,” writes Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D.
If you have seen movies in which the strong characters become disabled, you may have noticed that they react the same way. They want to detach themselves from the world. If a concerned loved one tries to get close, they push the helpers away, thinking that these folks merely feel pity for them.
The truth is that pity is not even among the reasons why genuine people offer their support to you. In case they happen to be close friends or family members, it is because they love you and want to see you with your head held up high again. If the help comes from an organization that you have never contacted before, it may be due to their belief in your existing work. Hence, you should not be ashamed of accepting the assistance that others are giving to you freely.
“By receiving with tender self-compassion, we’re allowing ourselves to be touched by life’s gifts,” writes John Amodeo Ph.D., MFT.
Remember Your Purpose In Life
When life gave you a disability, the dreams and hopes you’ve held on to probably went to the back of your mind. The light thoughts got replaced by dark, depressive ideas as you find yourself unable to do everything that used to be effortless for you. For instance, you are not supposed to drive once you become blind. You cannot leave your wheelchair after a leg amputation unless you obtain a prosthetic one.
No one who has not been in your position can gauge how difficult your situation is – that is true. However, when you finish grieving for what you lost, you should clear your head to remember what you have always wanted to achieve pre-disability. Taking note of your life’s purpose one more time, after all, may allow you to wipe your tears and move forward.
Avoid Making Comparisons
The worst things that you can voice out go along the lines of: “Why can’t I function like other people?” “Why do I need to be in a wheelchair, while others can use their feet and legs to walk?” “I wish I can speak or see or hear like them.”
The reason why you can talk about these things is that you feel as if the individuals with no disability are better than you. You always compare what you can do to theirs. Does that give you peace of mind, though? No.
You have to take a break from comparing yourself to other people today. You are not different from everyone you see on the streets. While you’ve got flaws, it does not entail that those folks do not have body features that they avert. It just so happens that they avoid dwelling on their misgivings; that’s why it seems like they have a perfect life. That is something you should try instead of making comparisons all the time.
Luckily, the world is slowly but surely changing. Laws that give disabled individuals a better shot at earning money and living independently are being signed and passed. Sooner than later, the fine line that separated abled and disabled people may dissolve. You may then never need to worry about your physical disability.