When you have a permanent disability that has no cure such as Spina Bifida it can be very difficult to come to terms with your disability and accept it. Coming to terms with your disability is so important with any disability because if you don’t you will never be happy. Wishing you were abled is not going to make you happy because although abled people make not struggle with as many things as people with physical disabilities do they still have their share of challenges they are just different and being abled will not solve all your problems. Wishing you were someone else will in only cause you to become more depressed so instead of wishing you are someone your not learn to accept and embrace your disability. Accepting a disability can be difficult if everything you do is a challenge and at times you may often ask yourself what’s the point? If you are struggling here are few tips that may help you become happier and help you take that next step to embrace and accepting your disability.
Have fun- When you are physically disabled some activities are just depressing and remind you of all the physical challenges you face. For me, a lot of beach activities makes me depressed(not all beach activities) because I struggle a lot with moving around in the sand and going in the ocean is just no the same for me. If an activity is making you depressed stop doing it and choose a different activity because although you may be limited to a lot of things there is still plenty of alternatives and being miserable is never going to help you embrace your disability! I love Pilates and although I may look like a total goofball doing it helps me forget about everything for an hour and that is all I really care about! If you find an activity that you look like a total goofball doing who cares as long as you love what you are doing that’s all that really matters!
Stop blaming yourself- Sometimes when you are disabled we get really angry when we face a lot of physical challenges and start to blame ourselves for our disabilities! Your disability is not your fault and having a disability may have its challenges but it’s not a bad thing and there is nothing wrong with you! You are just a different person that struggles with different things but you are just as talented as an abled person is and getting angry about will not change anything but will, in fact, make it harder for you to embrace your disability. Let it go!
Stop asking why?- Most people who are physically disabled want to know why they are disabled but when you become depressed because you don’t have those answers that is when it becomes harmful. There is nothing wrong with wanting answers but what you have to understand no one is ever going to be able to give you those answers. Everyone who has a disability is going to be curious as to why they are disabled and there is nothing wrong with that but when you are continually asking yourself why and crying about it can be harmful. Instead of asking yourself why and wishing things were different learn how to accept and embrace your disability!
Stop comparing yourself to abled people- If you have a physical disability you will never be able to work out in the same way or really do anything in the same way an abled person does it. Your disability will make it so you have to do everything differently in order for you to make your life easier. It is so important to never compare your goals or accomplishments to an abled person because they will have different goals and accomplishments and comparing yourself to them is not even an accurate or even fair comparison. Abled people may be able to achieve more physically than you so comparing yourself to them may cause you to become depressed because their goals may not be achievable for you. Instead, of comparing your goals to an abled person’s make your own and crush them!
Stop the negative self-talk– When you are disabled it is easy to convince yourself you’re a failure because you may see all your abled friends have all these successful careers that you may never get to have because of your disability. No wonder you can’t accept your disability you are calling yourself a failure and wishing that you were someone that you’re not! You will never be happy unless you are happy with who you are right now because your disability is something you cannot change so stop wishing things were different! Instead of feeding your mind with negativity and telling yourself that you are a failure feed your mind with positive affirmations to help incorporate positivity into your lifestyle.
Join a community- If you are disabled you can probably agree that sometimes it can get lonely if you don’t have any disabled friends! No one understands your daily challenges so complaining about them to your abled friends is probably not a good idea. They will not sympathize with you but will in fact probably just get annoyed that you are complaining so instead of complaining to your abled friends join a community! When you join a community and talk to other disabled people who have your disability you may learn a few things from them that may help make your life easier.
When you are disabled life can sometimes get depressing and at times lonely because it can be difficult to find people to talk to that know and understands what you are going through! If you are disabled and are depressed about your disability that’s okay everyone with a disability goes through this but if it starts to consume your life that is when it becomes a problem and talking to someone in your situation or joining a community might help. A disability has many challenges but it is not a depressing lifestyle and for the most part, is not much different than an abled person’s life! If you have any questions about how I learned how to accept my disability please leave them in the comments below.
Life with Spina Bifida is a personal blog that is all about my life with a disability, chronic pain as well as encouraging hope and positivity for those who are suffering. You are not alone!