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3 Things I Hope My Life With Cerebral Palsy Can Teach People Without Disabilities

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My disability has influenced who I have become in many ways. I’ve found there is much I can teach my able-bodied peers if I choose to be completely open and honest. I want to share words that come straight from my heart; I want to show that I have the same feelings as everybody else. I face some of the same challenges, I just deal with them on a different scale. Here are 3 lessons I hope people without disabilities can learn from my life.

1. I have the ability to provide unconditional love and compassion to others. My love for my friends and family feels deeper than most. I love really hard. I love to hug. I love to smile and laugh. I give people tons of chances; it is very rare that I ever cut someone out of my life. It takes a lot to push me to my limit. I say “I love you” to all my dearest friends. The world needs more of that; it has become a place of terror, selfishness, and coldness. I am glad I have been put in the position to spread so much positivity.

2. I stay physically active with the body I have been given. A disability such as cerebral palsy leads you to find alternative ways to accomplish what is needed on a daily basis. I clean house, I cook meals; I do everything a non-disabled person does, with the exception of driving a car. I will cross that bridge someday though!  My mother has always taught me to make whatever accommodations I felt were necessary. There’s a solution to every problem; you just have to find what works best.

3. I persevere, and I hope to pass that quality on to others. I have faced a lot of trials and tribulations in my lifetime. I’ve gone through feeling unwanted, unsuccessful, and struggle with low self esteem at times, but I have always worked hard to push through all my battles. Find your passions, work to set as many goals as you can, and try to create a life you will look back on and be proud of. At 24, that’s what I’m striving to do daily. I have “off” days occasionally, but an “off” day is OK. Once you realize you can climb out of the self pity-trap, and you learn to take one day at a time, there is no telling what you might achieve.

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Originally published: July 13, 2016
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