Monday, August 26, 2013

Celebrate Coping Skills!

As disabled folks aka differently challenged individuals, we all know about having a desire to act (can include any activity) or volunteer and our bodies not allowing us to follow through at all or not follow through timely. It’s frustrating enough to make us scream, but coping with that is part of accepting our own limitations that cannot change. 

However, sorting what can and cannot change can be tricky. I had 5 doctors tell me I would be in a wheel chair before age 50 with my deg disk disease (4 herniated disks--2 cervical and 2 lumbar).  Now I look back on that and see how irresponsible those doctors were and how their words attempted to limit me. I fought that and still do each day when I go swimming and workout in my 0 gravity chair. 

I know that not all medical conditions can be changed, but please choose to leave the possibility open to any that you might be able to change. I have accepted my nerve damage in both arms and legs will not change, but increasing my balance has limited my falls and gotten me out of the wheelchair. Being a para- or quadriplegic cannot change and needs to be accepted, but losing strength in any limb that you can move is avoidable and can be worked on gradually to increase your strength. 

I have found that disability taught me lots about promises. I no longer promise my kids I can do something unless I am sure that my body will not break that promise. It broke my heart and theirs many times as I struggled to find balance with my disability and my kids. 

It’s not easy and it’s different for each kid and each family. My daughter learned coping skills that my son thinks are stupid. They work for my daughter and so she needs those. My son has had to find his own coping skills that would work for him. 

**Coping is necessary for every change, every transition and every new situation throughout life.**

Encouraging your kids to find healthy coping is a GIFT that will help them over and over in their life. Never feel guilty or waste your energy feeling guilty about your disability and the way it has impacted your kids, husband and family. Every bit of coping will ease the difficulties they face in their life. Guilt is so negative. Instead, celebrate those new coping skills and try your best to find healthy ones that work for each of your kids considering their age and development. You will arm them for the battles they are guaranteed to face in their life and they will thank you later... I promise!!! 
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