Cerebral Palsy makes life hard sometimes. It can be exhausting having to advocate for yourself. When I received my power chair last year, the process was grueling. I became tired of having to send e-mails and write letters. It was frustrating when I received denial letters in the mail. I waited over a year for my chair to arrive.
Ableism is very exhausting to deal with. I’m tired of having to prove myself just because of my disability. One day, I hope to become employed and get married. These goals aren’t unusual for an adult in their twenties, but many non-disabled people seem to think that my hopes for the future are unrealistic.
Despite my challenges, my life is worth living. I am fortunate to have an incredible amount of support from my community. I have a large, loving family. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, younger sister, and cousins have always been there for me. They’ve seen me through the good, bad, and ugly.
In addition to my family, I am blessed to have wonderful friends, doctors, therapists, and PCAs. They all care so much about me. I’ve known some of them for years now. Growing up, I had the same paraprofessional for ten years. It was comforting knowing she was there for me whenever I needed her. We still keep in touch now.
I have also worked with amazing doctors, therapists, and PCAs. They help me live life with CP to the fullest. My PCA provides around-the-clock care. He’s always there for me when I need his help. My doctors and therapists help me live with less pain. They make it possible for me to continue walking, and they are excellent advocates for me as well.
My friends have always been accepting of my disabilities. They understand that my disability might mean they have to help me or call ahead of time to inquire about accessibility before going anywhere. I’m never seen as a burden, extra work, or someone to be pitied by them. I’m just a friend. I am grateful to have them all in my life.
Life with Cerebral Palsy can be challenging. I try my best to find joy every day. I am blessed to have a wonderful community. I am forever grateful for all of the support I’ve had. Life is a journey for all of us, and finding joy makes the journey easier.