Living with a disability can sometimes feel like being trapped in prison.
The one thing I will say is that a disability can cause you to be more grateful for the simple things in life.
Family, friends and loved ones take on a more pivotal role, whether your disability allows you to spend time with them or not. They are still important supports in your life.
You learn to appreciate the little things, but it’s certainly not easy, especially if you’re unable to work because of it.
There are days when you feel like you’re climbing the walls. But, equally, there are days when you’re able to pull inspiration from sources you’d least expect.
Since having to leave my job, my outlook has certainly changed – some might even say for the better.
There are many, many problems that render people unable to work. Like in my case, they can include depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, migraines and related conditions such as chronic obesity; to accidents and surgeries gone wrong.
The sad truth is that, in life, you never know what’s waiting around the corner.
You can sit and dwell on it, or you can use it as a motivation to live your life to the fullest.
I try to count my blessings every single day, but there are times when I do feel lost, alone or desperate.
Disabilities can take away your feeling of freedom, making you feel helpless. More than anything, it affects your sense of self-worth.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss strolling into work and greeting my colleagues with a big, bubbly smile.
To this day, I come across job openings that would suit me and my qualifications and feel a sense of great loss that I can no longer pursue them.
Regardless, though, it’s important that I’m able to provide for myself and my family, and that’s much easier said than done since I’m unable to work.
Take it from experience, it’s critical to find something within your capability to keep your brain active and engaged – just as I have with blogging.
It’s no use sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. Everyone needs an escape, no more so than those suffering from a disability.
That, in truth, is the reason I started this blog.
It’s my own little space where I can feel safe and, crucially, valued.
You need to have a reason to wake up every morning. For some, it’s their career. If you don’t have that option, you have to find something else.
My advice would be to follow your passion. Maybe it’s something you neglected when you were ‘too busy.’ Now seems as good a time as any.
Above all, what living with a disability has taught me is that life is too short to waste. Make every second count.
Never surrender your ambitions and aspirations – instead, adjust them to suit your new situation.
In a strange kind of way, I find that I’m able to live more fully now than ever before.
Just remember that you’re as important as ever.
Never give up.
I have not given up on myself. I do wish, however, that I had had the personal fortitude and strength to seek out legal counsel at the time as we’d likely be in a much more advantageous position financially.
My medical pension is minimal at best because I never was able to build a full pension because, as a military wife, I followed my husband from post to post. Although this was our last, retirement post, I only had five years of service in my last job, resulting in a meager pension of about $350 per month.
I do believe that had I taken legal action, I would have received financial compensation.
Like they say, “Hindsight is 20/20.”
If you’re disabled as a result of any kind of accident or work-related psychological trauma, it’s vital that you pursue compensation. The hand you’ve been dealt will ultimately affect you for the rest of your life.