People think that having CP I must be “less than” the average person; or more common, and even more inaccurate, that I feel as though I’m “less than.” So to prove the average person wrong here are some of the gifts of CP, and some reasons.
Life Outside The Box- Let’s just let the cat out of the bag here, a person with CP does not function like the average person. It’s impossible. You have to live life outside of the typical box your peers find themselves in. I know a lot of people get down about not being typical but I find a certain level of freedom in it.
Rebellion- People are always telling you what to do, or what they think you should do, or via versa. But a healthy sense of rebellion helps shut out the naysayers.
Faith- This may seem like a given, given my background but I’m not talking about faith in a god, just faith in something, especially yourself.
Creativity- Life outside the box certainly takes some creativity. Everyday tasks can sometimes be interesting, like navigating stairs or reaching into cabinets. Whatever works for you just go with it.
Ignorance- This is one of those qualities that rarely has a good application, but if you don’t know you can’t (or shouldn’t) do something why not go for it? Sometimes ignorance leads to bliss.
A Fresh Start- CP doesn’t get better or worse but how it effects a person changes throughout their lifetime. I’ve often told people I’m never sure which body I’ll wake up with from day to day. People usually take this to be a bad thing but what few think about is the opportunity to start over every day.
Humor- I feel like this one is pretty obvious, but I’ll try to explain it anyway. You find yourself in some pretty unbelievable circumstances & if you can’t find some humorous aspect of it you’re sure to go nuts.
Authenticity- I’ve often heard people complain that those with disabilities don’t seem to have as many friends as those who don’t have a disability. That isn’t always true but when it is the authenticity of friendships makes up for the lower number. Not to mention the fakers don’t typically stay around long, sometimes it’s their choice, sometimes not.
Self Reliance- Life ends up being what you make of it. You can’t rely on others to make you happy, even if you tried who would you look too? Not only do we have family & friends but often a team or doctors & other specialists too. You can ask for opinions but when it comes down to it you have to decide for yourself.
Determination- A lot of typical “growing up stuff” like riding a bike or learning to drive doesn’t come easily to those of us with balance and/or depth perception problems. But with enough time & sheer will power it happens.
Acceptance- This is one of those overused terms, but accepting you have CP is one of the best things a person can do for themselves. Although it is something that has to come with time that can’t be forced. Life gets easier once you’ve accepted that you have CP, but it doesn’t define who you are.
The Element Of Surprise- People often have misconceptions about what a person with CP looks like. A good thing about being classified under an umbrella condition is that the element of surprise is on your side.
Teamwork- Going along the lines of “it takes a village to raise a child” sometimes it takes a lot of people to help someone with CP. As with any group of people it takes a certain level of teamwork for things to go smoothly, or as close as you can get to it.
*A similar version of this post was written on March 15, 2012