Because of the 'Big Bad Thing'


Because of the Big Bad Thing (cerebral palsy):

I was born a “blue baby” because of lack of oxygen at birth.

I didn’t sit up unsupported until I was a year old and used a walker much longer than most babies entering into toddlerhood.

I wasn’t running to keep up with the other toddlers around 1 and a half to 2 years.

I was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy.

The orthopedic doctor told my parents I would never walk long distances.

Did my parents and other family members wonder if I would be smart, do well in school and play like other children?

I was teased and felt singled out growing up.

I’m not good at roller skating or ice skating, even though I tried.

I had double the homework other kids did, for the extra practice to stay on grade level and also because regular assignments took longer.

Even though I’m active and independent, my symptoms increase when I am tired (I trip more often and my speech is more slurred, etc.).

At the age of 13, I told myself since I had cerebral palsy, perfection in all other areas of life was important.

It was a question whether I could drive, work, become a parent or go to college due to my physical limitations.

I’m a poor test taker.

And actually, I’m a poor note taker.

Filling an online dating profile was a huge fear to conquer.

Talking to guys in a busy bar was an even bigger fear.

Employers have looked at me as I’ve entered an interview and stated I shouldn’t be interviewing at their place of employment.

I have been “let go” by an employer due to my disability.

Since the age of 18 I have experienced chronic pain during different phases of my life.

I get spasms at night while falling asleep if I am experiencing stress.

Growing up I thought all of the annoying stuff about my disability would disappear or get easier.

It hasn’t gotten easier or disappeared.

On a daily basis kids ask why I talk and walk funny.

and…

Who cares? One of the biggest life lessons to learn is we all have our baggage. What each of us do with it is our own personal decision. I was given a personality and soul to teach and set an example for others to take the s***ty hand we are dealt and turn it into something great. Here’s my s***… and my life and writing are about how I’ve interpreted it, flipped it around into something good and made the absolute most out of my journey, so far.


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