O.K. You've gotten the news from your doctor and gone through all the stages of grief over the loss of an ability. You could have arthritis or asthma, be blind or deaf...your disability could be mental or physical. This article isn't about a specific condition. Instead, let's consider what to do once we've emotionally processed the loss and found ourselves alive on the other side. How, then, do we live in a way that capitalizes on what we have left? If we can focus our attitude, ability and resources in a positive direction, most of us, regardless of disability, have a good chance at a happy, productive life. For more information, try these popular books on long term disability resources.
Attitude plays a huge role in our future. How do we see our own condition? I didn't like it when they changed the terminology from handicap to disability. Words mean things! Handicap means you're playing with a disadvantage, whereas, disabled means you can't be in the game. Do you want to be in the game? The first thing to do is to stop seeing yourself in terms of disability. I've known people who had productive jobs and happy families who were blind, deaf, suffered from Cerebral Palsy and amputation. Though they qualified, they refused to accept the unnecessary support of others. I also knew a man with vast creative talent and intelligence who used a criminal record and a dustup with a co-worker to qualify for full disability support. If you want to live a happy, productive life, you must begin to see yourself, not as disabled, but as having a handicap to overcome. Sure, there are severe physical and mental disabilities that require the full support of others to survive, but if you can understand this sentence, you don't have anything that severe...so start focusing on what you have rather than what you lost.
To focus on your ability, you need to dump all the labels that classify you by your impairment. When my left arm was disabled, I decided to be right-handed. My writing was slow and sloppy at first, but I focused on the ability of my right arm rather than the impairment of my left. Don't focus on you blindness but on your hearing, smell, taste, touch and mental abilities. Take an inventory of all the skills, talents, and abilities you have left and begin to find things you can do to capitalize on them. My former abuse, addictions, mistakes, losses and chronic illnesses make me particularly sensitive and useful to people going through similar stuff. I guess, in a way, my disabilities have become my abilities. Take some time to make an honest inventory of what you've got, rather than what you lost. You probably have a lot more resources than you imagine.
After you've adjusted your attitude and assessed your abilities, it's time begin assembling your other resources. When I built my own home, it took me as long to arrange and collect the materials and subcontractors as it did to actually build the house. Developing resources will be a full-time job until you have a full-time job. You can learn a lot about resources on the Internet. Disability Info is a great place to begin your research on what resources are available to help you overcome your particular handicap. Collect and read everything you can find. Once you've decided on a field of interest you'd like to pursue, research everything you can find on it to figure out how you can work around your handicap. Don't forget your family and friend resources, with one caution...only accept help you actually need from people. Dependence is easy to develop but harmful for you and for the person helping.
So, you've adjusted your attitude, focused on your abilities and assembled your resources. Now it's time to get out there and stub your toe, bang your head, fail, get up and try again...just like everyone else. Welcome to the mainstream!
If you're looking for help with a disability, you can find that help with God. You can renew your body, mind and spirit with God's help. If you want His help, go to Healing From God.
Acne Home Remedies
Attitude And Health
Caring For Chronic Illness
Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms
Elder Health Care