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When I Stopped Mourning My Life With Cerebral Palsy

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When you see me today you see a speaker. You see a writer. You see an entrepreneur. You will also see my wheelchair. When you listen to me you will hear a speech impediment and you may not understand my words. But you will not see a face that is sad. You will not see someone who has let cerebral palsy take control of their life. That is what you see today, but it has not always been that way.

You see, years ago I mourned the life I thought CP took from me. It started around the time I was finishing my program at a two-year college. My friends were finishing the program as well, and they were on their way to continue their education. Oh, how I longed to join them. But I never imagined I could go away from home and live on a college campus. I blamed my CP.

I envisioned my dream life. I imagined myself living in a dorm, going to parties, going on dates, and above all attending really interesting classes. It was my idea of the perfect college life. But I did not think it was to be. It was only a fantasy. I mourned the fact that it would not be my reality.

I weeped. I sobbed. I became depressed. This was me until I decided… no more. I would not mourn a made-up life. I would not cry for what didn’t exist. I would create the life I wanted. And CP would not take control. I would.

That was when I made a turn. I found a way to go to college and live on campus. I made friends. I went to those parties. I excelled in those interesting classes. I was living the life I had mourned just a few years earlier.

Everything was going so well. Life was so great. I couldn’t believe the life I had. But then it started again. It was time to find my first “real” job. I believed that just like I found a way to live on campus and graduate from a top business program, I would find that perfect “real” job.

It was not to be. But this time before I could really start to be sad about a life I could not have, I quickly began to find a way to take control. If I could not find a job, I would create a job. If nobody would hire me, I would hire myself. I started to write. I started to speak from a stage. I, the person that couldn’t get a job, was an author and a speaker.

I no longer sit and cry about a life I cannot live. I take the life I have been given and I make it as amazing as possible. It all started when I decided to stop mourning living with CP. That has made all the difference.

Originally published: November 7, 2018
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