It can be difficult to adjust to life with a disability. You are thrown into this unknown world that you never knew anything about. Things are tough. You loose your independence and dignity. All these aids come into your life. People suddenly treat you differently, like you are an alien or something! You may get low or depressed. Old doors may close. Sometimes it is a gradual process and other times things just change overnight. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own personality and way of dealing with things. There is no one road. For some it is too much and they can’t bear to live this different life. For others find their way and manage to build a life, albeit different from before.

For me, I have found the support network around me, particularly my wonderful parents, instrumental in me managing to cope. I have managed to build a life, although not what I intended, opportunities have arisen and new doors have opened. This has also made a difference and helped me in managing to adjust and cope with a life-changing disability. 

Disability can change your outlook on life. It makes you appreciate what really matters. People matter, family and friends not materialistic items, which often so many people prioritise or treat with importance. You appreciate the small things and what you do have, like having the ability to talk, see, hear and move the parts of your body that you can move. These are things that you take for granted when you have them, you don’t appreciate them and how lucky you are. The difference they make to your life and how much easier life is with them.

I think the experiences I have been through have made me more understanding, open-minded, determined, empathetic and given me life experience beyond my years. 

Some things you cannot understand unless you go through. I could have not have begun to have understood the battles, struggles and life of a disabled person before I was ill myself. Drawing on a positive from a negative though, I have to say that some of the most determined people I have met are disabled and you often find disabled people are. I think this is because of so many battles, obstacles and bad/negative attitudes disabled people face, they have to be all the more determined to achieve half as much as an able-bodied peer. I know for me I have always been determined, but since I became disabled I have become all the more determined to succeed and move forward, and without that I would not be where I am today.

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TEDx talk: https://youtu.be/WFA8QEzQp2s