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Continuing to Shine With a Disability in 2019

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In the midst of the firework-filled skies and the “new year, new me” ads, it is hard not to get sucked into the whole new year’s resolution ploy. I decided I was going to make a simple plan for myself this year. It is my ultimate goal to keep on advancing myself forward as much as humanly possible, both personally and professionally.

In 2018, I had some wonderful writing opportunities come my way. I definitely benefited from them, and I absolutely loved hearing that I was helping others with my words. I want to continue being a disability advocate. Maybe to some it looks like I am writing to garner pity, but this could not be further from the truth. I write about my experiences with my disability so others may benefit and relate to my stories. If my potential readers are younger than me, they can learn what their future might hold. If they are around my age, maybe they can relate and feel comforted to read that someone else is experiencing the same hardships and pain. I never know who my stories may touch, but if one person is positively impacted by my words, I feel like I have done my job.

In the course of writing for this platform, I have received similar comments to the ones mentioned above. I have even had parents tell me that my stories and my positive voice have helped them understand what their daughter or son may be feeling. I truly believe I was built by God to be a writer and an influencer and nothing else. This is no doubt my purpose.  I wake up each morning thinking about a new article or blog ideas.

I use my pain and hardship as warning signs and symbols. For me as a person with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, constant pain is unfortunately part of the aging process. We all begin to feel the aches and pains of becoming older, but for many people with CP, this happens much earlier as a result of the wear and tear of years gone by affecting our spastic muscles, making them even more prone to spasms and the rigid tight feeling. It feels like my muscles are constantly bunched up and on fire. This can be extremely painful at times, and it can also be nagging and annoying. The wear and tear can also turn into inflamed joints and arthritis.

Even though I am only 34 years of age and this is still considered relatively young, my body certainly does not feel young. I am experiencing things now that people 50 years or older experience. Having other conditions on top of cerebral palsy can be trying and difficult. I have moments when I become trapped and suffocated by it. Sometimes I have breakdowns and just cry, wondering why things are not different. Things are not always perfect in life, but we cannot expect them to be. We have to be ready for curveballs, whether they are expected or not.

Even though I feel stuck and down at times, I am a happy person. I have a deep appreciation for my life despite its simplistic logistics. I appreciate the small things and see aging as an opportunity instead of a burden. I am starting off 2019 as the same person with the strong desire to continue making a difference in the best way I know how, hoping and wishing this year will be bursting with hope and opportunity.

Getty image by Melpomenem.

Originally published: January 9, 2019
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