Recently a friend left a comment to one of my articles. I responded to his comment by writing this article, Dispelling the Notion of Disability — I Just Do Things in Ways that Work for Me.
“I can definitely identify with you on this front. I attempted to prove that I was “not” disabled for many years. I did so in an attempt to prove that I was not “defective”, that there was not something “wrong” with me and as a result, I was worth loving and given respect.”
In my experience, I had to reach a point when the pain of denying my reality had to supersede my need to deny my reality. Deny my reality in an attempt to prove that there was nothing “defective” or “wrong”with me.
What I needed to Do
In my experience, I had to confront my denial — despite feeling defective and as though there was some thing wrong with me. In my experience, I had to confront my denial before I could begin to love and accept myself as an individual.
In my experience, I discovered that I needed to move through the 5 stages of grieving, as spoken to by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her book; On Death and Denying.
The five stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
In my experience, I discovered that I needed to confront both my denial and the denial of family and friends before I could challenge the notion of dis-ability.
In my experience, I discovered that I needed to work through the stages of grieving before I could consider the possibilities of my ability.
Reaching a Point of Acceptance
In my exper ience, I had to work through the 1st 4 stages, to be able to get to a place of acceptance; before I could stop defending myself for having experienced a brain injury.
In my experience, I needed to get to a place of acceptance before I could begin to see that I was not defective or that there was some thing wrong with me because I experienced a brain injury.
In my experience, I needed to work on learning how to accept that I am powerless over the injury to my brain, while at the same time understanding that I am not not helpless.
In my experience, as I began to realize that I was and am not helpless, I saw a “light” at the end of the proverbial “tunnel”.
The light helped me to realize that I could get into action to realize my capacity to do things (create hope in my life) in ways that would work for me.
Getting into Action
The light helped me to realize that I could create a life for myself, within my reality.
The light helped me to realize that I could empower my life and, in turn; encourage other people to see the “light” at the end of their “proverbial tunnel”.
The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel that helped me to realize, that although I may have a disability; I am not dis-abled.
The light at the end of the tunnel that helped me to realize that I could create a good life for myself.
“I am not disabled. I just do things in ways that work for me.” Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
In the event that you are living with a disability, my encouragement to you my friend is to not give up.
Do not focus on the “dis” of disability but focus on”ability”.
Look for ways to use the ability that you possess.
The ability to use your passion through your skills, talents and abilities in ways that will work for you.
Time and Commitment
Your search to find a way to use your ability may take time, but be encouraged.
The process took time for me.
Lots of time, but I am glad that I did not give up.
Try Something New
My encouragement to you is to try something new.
Keep searching until you find a way that will work for you. .
Stay committed to your process and don’t give up.
AND, you will see your life flourish.
Quotes that Empower Ability
“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” Winston Churchill
“Don’t give up at half time. Concentrate on winning the second half.” Paul Bryant
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Alice Walker
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Steve Jobs
“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.” Thucydides
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” Bruce Lee
“Choose to focus your time, energy and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow you into your happiest, strongest, wisest self.” Karen Salmansohn
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” Eckhart Tolle
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