I was talking with a friend Wednesday night, someone who has termed herself a "neophyte [disability] advocate" and she was very clear that she would not change all the negative things that have happened in her life because they have shaped who she is, and quite frankly, the world would be boring. I then remembered I had this post from 2.5 years ago, written just at the start of this blog and just after BP diagnosis. I told her that a friend with a CP and some psychiatric diagnosis called after reading this and chewed me out. HOW COULD I BE OK WITH HAVING CP, she basically said? She'd get rid of hers in a second and griped about all the ways it is so horrible. The good this has lead to for me outweighs the bad.
I've decided to repost because this isn't anything that ever comes up on linked within (those boxes at the bottom of all the posts). It is interesting to see how much my insecurities and views about my world have changed over 2.5 years. I would change some answers now, although I am choosing to post how it was originally written.
It's 11:45 and I'm laying in bed. I just took a sleeping pill and my brain needs something to occupy it while I'm waiting for it to work, so I thought I would post another entry. I have a rant to post tomorrow, but I need something that doesn't take too much thought. Here are some disability related questions & answers:
1a. If I could take a pill tomorrow and not have CP anymore, would I do it?
First of all, I couldn't in reality because I've had too many muscles/tendons/etc moved and you can't move them back. Putting that aside, I still wouldn't do it. I've spent 22 years with CP and 0 years without CP. It's all I know and I don't think I would know what to do with myself if I suddenly didn't have CP.
1b. If I could wake up tomorrow and not be bipolar...
I would be ecstatic. I would have a GPA somewhere around 3.5 and I wouldn't feel like people have to "deal with me" because I would act 22 all the time instead of on somewhat rare occasions.
2a. What is the worst part about having a disability?
Not being able to drive.
2b. What is the best part about having a disability?
Not having to wait on long lines (JK); being at least a bit more grounded--who's wearing what isn't the most important thing in the world.
3a. What do I wish I could do?
Well, besides drive, Have the confidence to go on a date... guys are attracted to confident girls after all.
3b. What have I done that I never thought I could do?
Walked up "killer hill" at my camp, ran a mile in under 15 mins, finally made true friends, planed a workshop for 150 people, I'm sure there are more.
4. What could I do without?
The problems with my back. I don't know anyone with CP who doesn't have back problems.
5a. What do I want able bodied people to know?
A lot of times if you make something "easier" for me, it will also make things easier for everybody else as well. An example is curb cuts, they are also convenient for bikers and parents with babies in strollers.
5b. What do I want human service providers (doctors, social workers, etc.) to know?
They need to listen. REALLY LISTEN. Sometimes "I think something is going on in my head" isn't the cry of a hypochondriac or someone looking for an excuse. If they stopped and listened, there really was something going on in my head all along.
6. If I could tell my 11 year old self something...
I would tell her that life isn't gong to get easier from here, it's going to get harder, MUCH HARDER so she should start praticeing asking for help now, so that when she REALLY needs help she'll know how to take it.
Well that's 10 questions and I'm starting to get a bit drowsy (YAY). If anyone comes up with some more, maybe I'll do this again soon.