In order to be living well with a disability and overcome challenges, you will need to adjust to life with the disability and understand that you can’t go back in time to a healthier you. You can be happy and make a meaningful life for yourself, even if you’re never able to do the things like you used to, although it may not seem like it now. But you are not alone, as the CDC estimates that 1 in 5 Americans is disabled so you can too learn how to accept your disability.
You can learn from others and their successes can help you stay motivated, so don’t dwell on what you can no longer do and try to move on. Remember that you can’t work through grief without allowing yourself to feel it and fully experience your feelings without judgment. What you hope to do in the future gives you something to look forward to, so stop obsessing over negative medical information and try to understand what you’re facing.
You can change the way you think about your disability, as there are many things you can do to improve your sense of empowerment, no matter your disability. Find out what the typical progression is, because knowing what’s going on with your body will help you prepare yourself and minimize your disability’s impact on your life. Acceptance can feel like giving in, but refusing to accept the reality keeps you stuck and prevents you from making the changes you need to make and giving yourself time to mourn.
You’ve got limitations but with commitment and willingness you can reduce the impact your disability has on your life, so negotiate the challenges of life with a disability, because knowledge is power. From anger and sadness to disbelief, it’s all like a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, but eventually the lows will become less intense and in no time you will be learning how to live with a disability. In order to learn how to accept the limitations you can do very little, so it is hard not to become frustrated.
You can still enjoy a full, long life, although when you’re hit by a disabling injury it can trigger a range of unsettling emotions and make you wonder how you’ll be able to work or keep a relationship again. The main key is to do something and not sit at home fuming about the inability to do normal things. You’ve suffered a major loss, of at least some of your plans for the future, so it’s only human to want to avoid pain.
Look around, as indulging in daydreaming leads to inaction and frustration. Having bad days and pretending you’re okay to your family and friends will not help them or you, so understand that it is healthy to grieve the life you’ve lost and wish for a return to your pre-disability times. Everyone is always trying to go above and beyond, achieve more, and that’s fine, but you may find it impossible to keep up a fast pace or even stand up, so live and learn.