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Why Cerebral Palsy Makes New Year's Eve Hard for Me

With 2020 soon approaching, I wanted to write about the hardest part of New Year’s Eve for me as someone who has cerebral palsy.

For me, the hardest part of New Year’s Eve is my bad reaction when it comes to noise. Due to my spastic cerebral palsy I have a strong startle reflex and jump when I hear loud noises such as a champagne bottle popping, people screaming and loud music coming from a stereo. I jump out of my wheelchair because my body becomes anxious and startled by what’s going on around me. I’ve had trouble with this my entire life, especially with the way people react to my jumping. Some people laugh, some people stare and give me dirty looks. Having to deal with that has lowered my self-esteem just a little bit over the years.

It is hard on me to go out on New Year’s Eve because it’s the one night of the year I’m reminded that I’m different. It gets annoying being the constantly different one — for once I wish I wasn’t being stared at as if I’m an alien from outer space. Not everyone in society is going to understand your startle or see you as an average human, so that’s the hardest part about it, but I try not to let it stop me from starting the new year with a smile.

I truly hope one day, I can go out on New Year’s Eve and not worry about all these things I worry about each year. But until then, I will continue to celebrate New Year’s the way I always have throughout my life.

Getty image by Romolo Tavani.