Lesson 1: Remembering that you are still you

You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going.
–Mike Litman

Lesson 1: Remembering that you are still you

Welcome to lesson 1. Let’s get started! In this lesson we are going to talk about remembering that you are still you after becoming disabled. Just because you may be considered disabled no it does not mean that you are not the same person inside. Yes, some things may have changed, but if you were afraid of balloons before you can still be afraid of balloons. If you like to watch sappy movies, you still can, even if you may not be able to see what is going on. You will find that some people will now treat you differently, and that is generally because they are afraid to say something wrong or possibly having a fear of now needing to take care of you. Remember to talk to your family and friends and let them know that you are still the same person they know and love and you will let them know if you need something or if they may happen to say something wrong inadvertently.
In each lesson I am going to start out with a few quotes. I believe that quotes can help give us strength; at least they do for me. At times I think they can even open our eyes to another perspective.
Our first quote for this lesson is by one of my favorite people Joseph Campbell;
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
Let’s think about this quote and how it applies to becoming disabled. We have shed our able bodied life to now live a life of a disabled person. You can now have a fresh start. You can chase the dreams you may have once had but were to afraid of chasing.

Did you choose one profession because it had more security?

Would you have rather done something else?

Remember that even though you may now be disabled you are still alive. Look at what you have and not what you have lost. You are still the same person you were before the disability. Here is a short quiz to help you determine if you are still the same person. Don’t worry it is short and there are no wrong answers.

  1. Is your name the same?
  2. Do you still have the same favorite color?
  3. Is your favorite food the same?
  4. Can you still think for yourself?
  5. Can you still form your own opinions?
  6. Would you rather have someone dictate your opinions?
  7. Can you still laugh at a funny joke?
  8. Do you still have the same beliefs (even if you may be questioning them)?
  9. Do you still have the same color eyes? (okay so you may have to ask someone to help you with this one) One of my trips to the emergency room one of the nurses told me that I had beautiful blue eyes. I told her that I was glad to hear that they were still blue.
  10. Do you still have at least some of the same people that love you?
  11. How would it make you feel if someone decided that you could not think for yourself now that you are disabled?
  12. What are your opinions, do you still have them?
  13. Have they stayed the same?
  14. How do you think your new disability has changed you?

Now that we had that little quiz that hopefully got your wheels starting to turn and eyes starting to open. I am hoping that you are starting to see that you are more than your disability.
. This brings us to another favorite quote:
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
Joseph Campbell
Think about that quote for just a moment. It is a privilege to be you! Remember that just because you are now different than you were before does not mean you are any less than you were before!

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.”
Joseph Campbell

When you start to question who you are find some time to take for yourself. Go inside and reconnect with yourself. Here are a few ideas:
• Take a bath
• Get out in nature
• Put on some music (make sure it is quiet, maybe classical)
• Pray
• Meditate

Take some time to reflect and start to dream and envision what you want your new life to look like. Now list 5 things you want to do (dream big):

How did that make you feel?
Are you starting to feel more like yourself?
Are you starting to feel stronger?
Are you starting to find yourself dreaming?

Our next lesson is on mobility and how important it is to your independence. Please make sure you take some time and reflect on the questions and really soak up what you have learned. Come on over to our private Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/10lessonempowerment/ and join in the conversation! I look forward to meeting and getting to know you!
Until next time,
Take care,

©Yvonne Garris 2014 all rights reserved
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