Every culture, disability, and illness have their pride day.For the most part, in today’s media as something important to the people who are a part of them. To see these representations must give these communities so much pride to show that something that is a part of them gets recognition. As a person that tries to be open to everything in life, I support every type of lifestyle and culture openly because when it comes down to it, I hope to have people available to who I am with my cerebral palsy.
Every year on October sixth, 17 million other people and I celebrate a particular day. Unless you are a part of the cerebral palsy community, sometimes, even if you are part of the community, you might not know. October 6 is known as World Cerebral Palsy Day. I had a hard time accepting the label that life put on me, understanding and accepting cerebral palsy. Having such a label as cerebral palsy has shown as a physical disability that only people and I only see, to a title as I see as something that empowers who I am.
The label of cerebral palsy has empowered me because it has shown me I am so much more than just these two words. Before I felt the empowerment of these two words, I saw myself in three parts:
- The woman that I was ( I saw the woman I was, because after understanding the power that cerebral palsy has given me, I don’t want to be that woman anymore)
- I felt I was inside myself; I never indeed showed it on the outside but, on the inside, all I felt was the label put on me.
- I felt like the label, and my body stopped me from being who I wanted to be.
Putting so much emphasis on the word cerebral palsy took away so much of my life. The term; is cerebral palsy, such a feeling of negativity that I thought living in my mind would be safer and comfortable for me than in real life. Not realizing I was hurting myself more than helping myself, I started to see I should let the word cerebral palsy into my life.
When I was in my 30’s, I had another label put on me. At 35, I was diagnosed with Psoriatic arthritis. I remember thinking, “OH SHIT.” Here I am from birth, life had put a label on me and not 35 years later, life has put another label on me. One night I was up all night thinking about the two titles now I have; I didn’t want to accept either of them. I knew it would be a long haul for Psoriatic arthritis but, cerebral palsy will always be my label. Felling very sad and that this was going to be my life from now on, flipping a mental coin in my mind, asking myself should I try to understand Psoriatic Arthritis or Cerebral Palsy.
For many years everyone in my life had tried so hard to accept my cerebral palsy, not wanting to accept the one I chose, cerebral palsy.
Taking the first step of something that you don’t want to accept is the hardest thing a person will do. That night a door started to open, but at the same, a door started to close. Holding my breath, I took my first step by emailing a United Cerebral Palsy.
Once I took my first trip to United Cerebral Palsy, my life opened so many doors I never wanted to open.
- I was afraid to look at it.
- I started accepting new friends.
- I started to accept myself.
After opening this part of myself and seeing what this part of myself was like, I couldn’t go back to how I was living my life all locked up in myself. I saw that this was no way to live. Over the years of getting to know this part of life wasn’t easy. I let myself see a part of life. I gave up for many years because of my fears.
As much as I was happy, I found this side of myself. I also was sad because I started to see what I lost because of my fear. I was going on social media to understand cerebral palsy; I saw all these people living whole lives without any or much fear. I started to begin seeing the full lives that people in the commutty have.
I see how their lives might not be like the movie/tv/books but they made their independence work for them. They were determined to live their lifes on their own terms and let there cerebral palsy impower them, I however lived my life on my own terms but unfortunately I didn’t let the cerebral palsy impower me.
Over last few years getting to know myself and the role that cerebral palsy plays in my life I have began to let the cerebral palsy empower me, intern this has helped me to accept my life and become independent in the way I want and need to be.