Tagged with: awareness Cerebral Palsy disability
October 7, 2015 was World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day and while the reader response, both from commenters and social media, to my last post on CP (here) was good, I could not help but feel like my post had painted cerebral palsy in an overly negative light. I wrote that post as an introduction to what, in general, CP can involve and I feel like I succeeded quite well. However, the more times I read the post, the more I could not shake the feeling that I made it appear as though CP was awful and everything that it entails is negative. That is definitely not true. This may sound crazy to some people but I would not change a thing about my CP. Here is why:
You get to experience things others do not:
A few experiences in my life I have had solely because of my CP. They include seeing the White House kitchens, competing in a national championship tournament, being a student-athlete for my favorite school, and knowing, being friends with, and even playing with, or against, some of the greatest athletes in the world. In addition, in what can be a blessing or a curse, your professors know exactly who you are even in a class of 300 people!
You have a different and unique perspective:
Everyone has a slightly different perspective; however, CP helps differentiate your perspective even more. I usually feel as though I can add something to a class discussion that no one else in the room would even consider. Furthermore, it is always surprising to me how often I turn to disability related topics when doing work for school. Many of my best papers have covered the impact of people with disabilities or issues surrounding disability. As a senior in college, I had to write a Senior Thesis that was completely original in nature and unique in its analysis of history. I was scrambling for a topic. In the end, I finally settled on how the Controversy at the FDR Memorial illustrated a shift in power to the disabled community that had occurred. Without my disability, I might not have graduated when I did!
My CP has shaped me as an individual and is too big a part of who I am:
While my CP does not define me per se it is, and always will be, a large part of who I am. Life with cerebral palsy is the only life I know. CP is a fundamental element of me being me and affects everything I do both the good and the bad. Therefore, if it suddenly went away I literally would have no idea what to do!
Is life with CP all fun and games? No, but neither is any other type of life either. We all have things we live with everyday that make life somewhat challenging whether that is diabetes, spina bifida, being bad at math, being clumsy and unathletic, or cerebral palsy. If all of life was easy then we would not appreciate the accomplishments that we achieve and where is the fun in that?
If you have CP would you change it? Would you remove it completely or just certain parts? Which parts?
My Cerebral Palsy is not anyone else’s and CP affects each person differently. I personally would not change my CP but someone else might. That is perfectly okay as everyone is entitled to their own opinions and choice.