How To Live With Disability
Whether you’ve found yourself becoming increasingly ill over a period of years, or you’ve had a sudden trauma or diagnosis overnight, coming to terms with a disability is hard. Not only do you have to deal with the changes to your own life, but you have the stigma that society attaches to it, and the worries and fears of your friends and family.
Coping Strategies For Living With Disability
Regardless of your situation, you should have a medical professional to help and support you through this transition – whether that’s your doctor, or a whole team of people, like Specialists, Physios, and Nutritionists.
However, here’s some coping strategies to help you adjust to your new life. Remember that if you’re struggling to cope, turn to a counselor or mental health expert. They’re the people who can help your mind come to terms with what’s happening to your body.
Try to live in the present
Remembering the past will be painful. And thinking about your future plans will be too if you’re no longer able to carry them out. So, it’s vital to live in the present. Take each day as it comes, and focus on your strengths, rather than any weaknesses.
Don’t give up on your old life completely
Yes, you’re going to have to make some changes. They may be big, they may be small, depending on what your disability is. But we live in an enlightened time now – nearly everything an able body person can do, a disabled person can do too. So, explore your options. If you have an active lifestyle, how can you recreate it? There are some great sporting ideas here. Or if you enjoyed traveling and touring around the country, why not look at a modified car, like the Bussani wheelchair vans?
Depending on your age, it might be time to rethink your career opportunities. If you’re equipped to carry on in your current career, that’s great – just don’t feel rushed into going back before you’re ready, both mentally and physically.
However, if your disability won’t suit your old working style, yet you still want to do something to stay busy, have a chat to your doctor about disability support groups, and see what they can suggest. Or, you could see if you can find a new hobby to fill your time.
Accept the pain and anger
It’s only natural to feel negative, sad emotions. Anyone who tells you to ‘cheer up’ or think on the bright side should be removed from your life for a while! You need to come to terms with this change in your own time, and not feel rushed into acceptance by anyone, regardless of how well meaning they may be.
However, be careful that you’re not pushing people away. You’re angry at your situation, at the pain, the illness, the disability. You’re not angry at the people around you.
While they won’t expect an explanation, try to direct your anger and upset at what matters. This is a great article that delves deeper into accepting your anger, pain and depression. We also wrote an article a while back about looking after your mental health. You can read it here. Having a disability doesn’t mean your life is over, hope these tips help you in your journey