Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Don't feel sorry for yourself.

My mother thinks that I focus too much on disability aspect on my life and she finds it depressing. In her mind I complain and dwell on negativity. Her response after she read a few of my recent posts? You can always go home. It's funny how you can look at the same thing and depending on where you're sitting get a completely different impression. I've designed this blog to make people think about things they usually don't have to, to stop and wonder what it must be like and inspire discussion. Some topics were lifted directly from my exchanges with Andrew Sutton, who published my book, "Never, never quit" a year ago. He appreciates my perspective and  given his encouragement I'm only willing to get into it more. My foundation's launching the  Help Us Tell Your Story campaign in the next few weeks and yes, we've been looking into disability issues a little more. Our entire team is trying to develop a line of products and programmes  stemming from those tales. So, we had to get into the topic a little. Those of us who never had the experience and the rest who may not have had that particular experience.That take is a product of our weeks and weeks of  discussions: of what it's like to have a disability, but also how limitations not only manifesting themselves in inability to do things, but perceptions of the outside world influence you and your  self image. My Creative Director has particularly taken a  lead on this one- bringing me stories of wheelchaired rugby teams and programmers who code with their feet and have no arms. We've developed a 100 questions, grouped in 10 categories to help shed some light on these amazing people. But, at the end of the day it's hard not to ask: how is my disability affecting me, how would I act in these situations, who would I be if I wasn't in a wheelchair.

 The fact of the matter is that CP has a prominent place in my life. It's key element in some aspects, not so much so in others. I feel it would be ingenuous of me to acknowledge that some ways it effect me. Yes, I have a life, I have friends, I go out, I have moments good and bad, I take spontaneous trips, I meet new people, I do coffee, drinks, karaoke, but it doesn't make for a good blog. I have things going on right now that I couldn't even discuss right now and I feel I'm on a verge on something big. This blog has an angle- that I stray from from time to time and it has one on purpose. It will not sound modest, but I'm proud of myself for handling things life has thrown at me so far. to me the key is how I raise above it, while my mother I imagine sees it as a complaining and venting tool. One thing I will say for myself- I have never allowed my disability to enable me to feel sorry for myself, or be an excuse for not being able to do things and a source for demands or grievances. I'm constantly reminded that not everybody's built the same way.

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