WRITING HAS TO BECOME A WAY TO UNDERSTAND WHO I AM
A friend asked me to attend a writer’s workshop. We hadn’t been able to have a girl’s weekend in so long. I have been a writer on and off for most of my life. Like every teenage girl, I wrote in a journal and poetry but nothing else. In college, I wrote for the school paper. In more recent years, I have written for The Mighty. I am making health about people. ( my writing includes,Why CNAs Need More Education About Patients With Disabilities (themighty.com), Exercising With Cerebral Palsy (themighty.com), Cerebral Palsy and Psoriatic Arthritis (themighty.com), and more.
For years I stopped writing because I didn’t know how to deal with my feelings.
During the pandemic, I moved out on my own, and it felt like my family dropped me and locked the door because the world was shut down. Not knowing what to do and not wanting to fall down a black hole, I turned on my computer and started to write.
I started a blog about cerebral palsy on Facebook. Doing this made me feel comfortable about myself with cerebral palsy. Then I began WordPress; I call it Six Legs To Independence: life from a walker. On the blog, I talk about life with a disability while living in an able-bodied world. When I started, I wasn’t sure what I was doing, so I went with my feelings.
When I began writing during the pandemic, I dove deep into myself. It was like I reached and unlocked those blocked doors within me. I started just writing everything I feared about living with a disability.
The thing is, I never want anyone to see my life as depressing or for anyone to feel sorry for me. Yes, my cerebral palsy has given me challenges and continuities to provide me with challenges, but I don’t know any other way and wouldn’t want to know any other way.
Some people see a physical disability as the world’s end. There have been times that I have felt that way, but that is because I felt beaten down by others. What makes the situation worse: Just because I have cerebral palsy doesn’t negate the fact that I still will get other health issues unrelated to cerebral palsy.
I think of all the challenges I have had and will have in my life, knowing that I will still have other health issues from being human. My biggest fear is the fear of what these other health issues will do to my cerebral palsy, and I’ve already had Psoriatic Arthritis. When I had Psoriatic Arthritis, it challenged my cerebral palsy; it was like an intruder in my body.
Yes, cerebral palsy is complex in my body, but I’m accustomed to this type of physical challenge. The real issue is when another challenge enters my body. When another disability or illness enters my body, my cerebral palsy fights for the right to let whoever enters the body know who’s boss is. Sometimes cerebral palsy gets knocked down, but it fights like hell to get back up to win out over whatever knocked it down.
So, why do I want to write? I want to write to show people that someone with a disability can. Still, be whoever they want to be and a part of the world just like anyone else.