A few months ago, I turned 26 years old while celebrating my 26th birthday I started to reflect on my journey with cerebral palsy and where I’ve been and what advice I would give my younger self if I were to go back in time and get the chance to speak to that young girl who struggled with understanding her disability and what it meant for her to have it .
- It’s OK if it takes you a little bit longer to write your ABC’s– Due to my Cerebral Palsy and lack of mobility within my left side made it very difficult for me to hold a pencil and write my ABC’s and I would become extremely frustrated with how long it was taking me to write them so if I were to go back in time until my younger self anything it would be it’s OK that it takes you a little bit longer to write your ABC’s you can do it and you will .
- Physical therapy is a good thing and not a bad thing – as a child, I would associate physical therapy as something bad because of all the stretches and all the exercises my physical therapist would make me do that would make my body sore the very next day and I would be very resistant to participating in the programs if I could go back and tell my younger self anything physical therapy is not a bad thing it’s a good thing and it’s going to help you feel better .
- You’re prefect just the way you are and you don’t need to change- As a Child into my teenagers years I struggled with self-esteem issues because bullying due Cerebral Palsy which cause me to want to change the person I was in the outside and inside. If I could go back in time and tell my younger self anything it would be sweetie, you’re perfect just the way you are and you don’t have to change a thing about yourself in one day you will learn to appreciate who you are as a person and where you’ve been .
- You’re not alone – during my childhood into my early teens, I often felt like I was alone when it came to having a condition like Cerebral Palsy which caused me to feel very isolated from society but if I could tell my younger self that I’m not alone and to keep going cause the world needs your story !
- It’s OK to cry after a doctor’s appointment- As a child and into my teenage years I would feel guilty about crying after a doctor’s appointment due to fearing what other’s thought of me when I did cry whenever I would apologize for it but as I got order I realize it’s okay to cry after a doctor’s appointment and process those emotions . if I could go back and tell my younger self anything it would be sweetie, I know it’s hard to process everything so if you need to cry cry it out it will make you feel better .
- Don’t feel bad if you’re out and about and you need to rest – as a child into my early teen years if I was out and about with my family doing an activity I would often feel bad when I would have to lay down from being so sore if I could go back in time until my younger self anything it would be don’t feel bad about having to lay down and having to rest the most important thing is you take care of yourself and your needs . Ultimately my younger self is a part of my journey and I’m so proud of how far I’ve came with my self and learning how to understand my disability