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How_to_Live_Life

How_to_Live_Life:_Open_the_Curtains

One of the most difficult feelings to deal with for one who has a physical disability, I think, is the gradual resentment that grows within a family member when they provide the personal care.  Caring for someone every day and doing the same things tends to get very monotonous, and the burdensome feeling that arises when this situation continues without relief can be very hurtful to the person needing care.  Imagine, if you will, that you are sitting in a wheelchair at a table.  You cannot move your arms much, or move your chair at all.  You are sitting where someone left you.  There are things on the table that are in your reach -- pens, paper, pencils, etc..  You have decided to write a letter to a penpal, but once you begin somehow the pencil falls out of your hand because you temporarily lose your grip.  Now what?  Should you finish your letter with the pen?  It wouldn't look quite right, so you ask someone who's watching TV if they will pick up your pencil for you, after all, it's not much to ask for.  "Why did you drop it?  I'm watching a show -- I'll come over during the commercial."  How do you feel now?  You didn't drop the pencil on purpose.  You just wanted to occupy yourself by writing to a friend.  It seems the TV show is more important than you.  You are a problem.  You cause extra work and you cause it on purpose.  Is that how you feel?

How_to_Live_Life:_Disneyland

People often see pictures of me doing different activities, like going out to hear live music, attending art shows, meetings, etc., and I occasionally hear their comments about how I live life to the fullest.  I don't really think about it until people mention it, but I guess it really is my choice to do as many fun things as safely as I can, just to experience as many things as possible.  It's obvious that I am physically unable to do most physical things due to my condition, but that's why I like to seek out and try different and exciting things.  I don't do these things just to show people what I can do, but rather I am seeking out experiences that enhance the quality of my life -- and that means fun!  And when I think of the word "fun", I think of Disneyland -- the happiest place on earth!

The_Holidays

The holidays have never been the same for me since my mother passed away in 1990.  No one has been able to cook like her, so Thanksgiving alone has not been as satisfying as it once was.  At Christmas time she would always find the most unique yet inexpensive little gifts that made everyone happy.  She knew exactly what I liked and what I would enjoy, and she made every holiday special.  I miss those times and I know I can never have them back, but this holiday season I am making a conscious decision to take a serious reality check.  I don't want to be lonely or depressed because it takes away energy that I could be using more wisely.

One thing that makes me sad is that many friends go away to spend the holidays with their families.  I believe this makes me feel like I'm being left behind.  I know my friends care about me, but I often feel like I'm not a priority to anyone.  What I have decided to do is to change the way I think about the holidays themselves.



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