I spent some quality time with my husband and friends. The effort was worth it. Had I taken the easy route, I wouldn’t have gone. There is actually a lot in my life I would not do if I always chose the easy route.
You may be thinking, “You have no idea how difficult it is to live with the disabilities that *I* have to manage!”
There is a lot of truth in that. Even my husband – who lives with me – cannot completely understand all that I must do to work outside the home, run errands, do laundry, cook, clean, etc. In the twenty years I’ve had in having both hearing loss and Meniere’s disease, I’ve even learned that we can share the same diagnosis and still have completely different symptoms, triggers, and difficulties. Yet, each one of us (stop shaking your head… ) EACH one of us can manage our disabilities and still contribute to LIFE. Being purposeful is important – it makes life worthwhile. Some amazing people I know include:
- A friend with MS who coaches numerous sports teams for special needs youth and volunteers a number of hours to a local service dog organization. Even when she is tired, she drums up the energy needed to be a blessing to others.
- A friend with MS who is also a survivor of stroke who writes and encourages people DAILY – all through the use of timely emails and cards. She is a blessing to MANY.
- A trainer/friend I greatly admire who also has Meniere’s and recently went through cancer treatments as well. She gives much of her life to adults with disabilities and the dogs being trained to help them. Her community service hours add up to the 100′s – something she never takes a calculator to figure up simply because she does what she loves… helping people.
- A friend who manages fibromyalgia, CFS, and Lymes disease and still has one of THE MOST helpful owner-trained blogs about service dogs on the Internet. She is resilient and courageous.
- A friend who manages depression and an anxiety disorder who reaches out to peers who are struggling. She leads support groups and is an editor for numerous newsletters. She has made a difference to many who are new to life with these difficulties.
- Numerous friends who reach out to people searching for information and support that are new to hearing loss. Learning to live in a silent world can be overwhelming. These folks make a difference – one person at a time.
Have you re-evaluated your own priorities – things that take your TIME – and discovered your disability or chronic illness is managing YOU? One of the best articles/posts I have ever read on this topic can be found HERE . Dr. Edwards addresses “Re-engaging Life and Finding Purpose After Disability or Illness”. The 8 characteristics he outlines about those who choose to re-engage were very helpful to me at a point I realized my disabilities were managing ME.
The International Disability Center for Resources on the Internet has another terrific article written by Dr. Brown. You can access her article HERE . Dr. Brown does a fantastic job of helping readers discover what their purpose SHOULD be based on their desires, talents, and skills. She also addresses a number of challenges that may present themselves – but also helpful ways to negotiate those challenges.
What is your focus? What are your priorities? Do you want to make some changes? I welcome your input and value your own examples of how you chose to stop letting your disability manage YOU!