It’s coming up on two years of living a fully independent life. I learned so much about life and myself. I’m strong and focused, but I feel I need some work. I know I have learned a lot, but I believe life is all about understanding what works and what doesn’t work for you. There is also always room to improve upon yourself. I have all these fountains within myself that have given me the knowledge to know what I have to do in these areas of my life; I need to build upon them to make me the most independent person I can be. These three areas are about living a healthy lifestyle; disabled or not, we all might need a tune-up once in a while.
Area one that I have to work on is Listening To My Body.
If I want to stay as independent as I am for years to come, I need to sit down with myself and have a heart-to-heart with my internal self to see where we can both compromise on how we can best deal with the life we have. Nowadays, I don’t feel so far behind in life because we aren’t kids playing on the playground, teenagers learning to drive, going on dates, 20 and 30-something starting to build stamina and families. People my age are experiencing the aging process I had 15 or 20 years ago. For anyone with cp or other physical disabilities, this can be a discouraging reality for us. As much as we know we need to listen to our bodies, it’s like shooting down pride in us that able-body people will never understand.
I’m starting to understand that pride and staying independent is something I need to begin weighing what will be the best choice for me. I’m at the point where independence should win out over my pride, but it’s going so much of me to realize that.
Area two that I have to work on is “Healthy Weight Equals More Independence”
I have a series called “HEALTHY WEIGHT EQUALS MORE INDEPENDENCE,” In this series, I talk about the challenge I have with eating healthy. Some of my difficulties with eating have to do with my cp; other challenges are the same for everyone eating out of boredom, stress eating, and eating just because it’s there. I have been better, but I still have a long way to go.
About two years ago, I started to keep track with the app Create Your Free AccountMyFitnessPal.com. You can find me at @mariewowcp. I know I talk about losing weight; yes, we all have to lose weight to gain more independence. I’m starting to see where I go wrong: I pay attention too much to the stuff I should be doing and rush through trying to keep healthy. Not just with eating but with life in general, I somewhat want to play the blame game and say it’s the cp, but saying it’s the cp is like saying it’s me, so in the end, I’m the only one that needs to stand up and take responsibility for myself. I not only want only to know but want to lose weight. I want a new lifestyle and must put my entire life into a healthy style to keep my independence.
Area three that I have to work on is “FINANCIAL”
When it comes to money, I have never been good at it. In today’s world, the dollar is not the same as it once was. When you live on disability, you’re not swimming in money. Most likely, you are living in the state; this is just enough to live monthly. I live in an elderly/disabled apartment. When you live in an apartment like this, they are typically under HUD housing. When you live in HUD housing, the rent is ⅓ of your income; most include water and electricity. This is a big part of where your money goes. Then you have to support yourself with other expenses you want in your house like phone, cable, internet, etc. Nowadays, the Internet is considered necessary cable companies have disability discounts, which has helped me. I also get food stamps, but when it comes to other needs I need or want, I need to budget my money. My goal is to work on budgeting with my PCA.