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How Cerebral Palsy Helped Me Bypass Trying to Fit In

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A few weeks ago, my teenage nephews were talking with their mom about the pressure they felt to fit in at school. They felt the way they dressed wasn’t cool enough for their school friends.

I immediately thought of my teenage years and how I didn’t feel the pressure to fit in with the other kids. I’m thankful that having cerebral palsy allowed me to follow my own path.

For me, not trying to fit in also allowed the times I was teased about having CP to roll off my back. The teasing was done behind my back by people I didn’t even know, so it didn’t bother me. When I would hear about someone teasing me, I would focus on God, who I believe blessed me with CP. I’d focus on my family at home who didn’t view me differently than they did anyone else.

I’ve never been (or tried to be) popular. Whether this is due in some part to CP, I’m not entirely sure, but I know that all my life I’ve tried to live as positively and happily as I possibly could.

Living with CP can stink if you let it get you down, but I think if you have a great support system, in my case family, they allow you to focus on the positive and not the negative.

In closing, I say thank you, cerebral palsy, for being a huge blessing in my life. You’ve allowed me to see the big picture and live life on my own terms. These past 35 years have at some times been tough, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything in this world.

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Originally published: March 23, 2015
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