The Darkest Part of CP, For Me Anyway

Last month was cerebral palsy awareness month, and typically my goal in that month is to encourage others like myself to get after their lives. Chase their dreams, better their health overall and to not let the world or cerebral palsy tell them who they can and cannot be. For the most part that is my motivation and how my mindset is most days. What is often not mentioned is how much living with cerebral palsy absolutely sucks!

And as someone who is “getting older” in life, there is certainly more evidence of both joint pain and spasms increasing in severity. Add to that the reality of people who have CP are prone to depression and anxiety as well, which in my opinion can also get worse as one progresses through life. For the most part, for me life is quite good. Yet, there are days and moments in my life that can be quite downcast and sorrowful.

            Which I’m sure that some might be shocked by that because I’m normally smiling and look as though I have “everything going for me” according to some. You can have everything in the world and still, life will attack you with suffering of various kinds no matter who you are. No one is immune to suffering or tragedy. The sooner we as humans realize such a reality, the sooner empathy and compassion can come alive in greater ways, when it comes to my personal living with CP. The hardest part of living with it, is feeling unseen in the world.

Feeling as though all people see is my disability, and what can’t be done in my body. It always seems that the abled bodied or more talented person is chosen over me. No matter what accomplishments have compiled or what is on my resume. When I was working a normal job, no matter the dedication shown and the ability to grow and adapt. I simply didn’t make the cut. This same feeling has crossed over into me a personal trainer, martial arts instructor, writer and more. From the outside in, it appears as though that from the abled bodied perspective people might think “yeah, you’ve helped people and you’re talented, but the fact of the matter is, because you cannot function as an abled bodied person were going to have to pass on you.”

Now, no one has ever told me this personally, but it certainly feels or seems this way at times. Which then to heavy amounts of fear that I’ll never be able to reach my goals in life, while doubting that I possess the ability and talent to even do so.  Moments such as these can turn into severe depression, that makes me want to lay in bed all day. For the vast majority of time though, the pain is stuffed somewhere inside me, and life is carried on with.

            Trust me, I’m not attempting to make others feel sorry for me or throw a pity party. Rather the world needs to see and understand, or at best try and see how a person like myself or myself might feel at certain moments in life.  I certainly wish that there weren’t days where it didn’t feel forgotten, looked down upon or incapable. The saddest reality is that some people will never see how much you or I are worth, and what we can offer to the world.

What then are we left to do?

I know that I’ve shared a heavy reality, however what we must all understand is that life is not always positive and hopeful. Rather life can bring about the darkest of conditions and seasons. It is up to us, amid that to find hope during such circumstances. For me, everything begins and ends with my walk with God. He tells us to cast our cares upon him, because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

He is the reason that there is hope inside me to begin with, my faith provides me the courage to keep going, yet God is the one feeling me with strength and not my own. Additionally, as much as our minds might lie to us and bring us down at times. We are not less than because of a disability, we are not incapable, and we do have gifts and talents to offer the world. Even if others are too stubborn to see it. Lastly, and from my perspective, the times when we grow the most tired, discouraged, depressed, anxiety ridden etc. Those are the times when we might need to rest and re-examine. Talk to someone, a friend or therapist, pray, journal, or spend some time outside.

            The kicker is this, after we rest, we don’t stay down… We get up and we keep going, we show the liar in our brains and people that may not see our worth or significant, that we’re still here and we aren’t going anywhere.  If you have things inside you that you want to accomplish, guess what? You still have work to do, and if you aren’t sure what your purposes or gifts are in this life, start the process of finding that out because believe it or not, the world needs your talents and gifts even if it’s on small scales. You can make a difference,     



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