Let’s drop the discussion of ‘disabled’ and ‘differently-able’ for a while. Obviously people with disability are not disabled in every sense — so they are not disabled! But, various kinds of disabilities disable a person in one or the other way. In this article we are going to discuss that particular ‘disabling factor’ of a person’s life… a disability that disables a person.Coping with disability is a journey from being disabled to differently-able. Click To Tweet
A person may be disabled by birth or due to some prolonged illness or because of an accident. Considering the mental state of the person these three broad causes of disability are very different from each other. When disability is by birth the person feels natural in their body unless they don’t start comparing themselves with others. When disability is caused due to prolonged illness, or is of the progressively deteriorating nature, then the person gets a longer time span to adjust mentally with their condition. But when it comes to accidental disability nothing can be more depressing or shocking than this. A person’s life may go topsy-turvy within a fraction of second due to an accident.
An accident can disable a person in various ways. The list of possible disabilities and their degrees of severity is endless. The physical treatments for different disabilities are certainly different from each other. But the process of coping with any form of disability is the same because each of them results in frustration, depression and negativity towards life. Each type of disability comes with a universal question… Why me?
Before proceeding towards the process of coping with accidental disability let me tell you a golden principle.
An accident that disables a person is very much depressing and no one can deny this fact. But this disability is never bigger than a person’s will power.
How to Cop with Accidental Disability
If you or someone dear to you is struggling with accidental disability, we recommend the following tips for coping with the situation.
Learn about your accidental disability
The first thing you need to do is learn about your disability. To crack an exam we need to know the syllabus and the exam pattern. In the same manner if one wants to deal with their disability then they must have knowledge about their condition. Ask your doctor and family members clearly if you feel they are hiding something from you about your condition. Tell them that you are strong enough to take the challenges of life and that you need to know the disability with which you are going to live. If you are given any medical term for your condition without any explanation; search the web for the details. Anyhow you need to know your overall condition.
Let your emotions flow
No one on earth can accept such a devastating truth about their life with a wide smile. So if you feel like crying then don’t restrain yourself. Crying on your condition does not make you a coward… such emotions are very natural. If screaming loud can soothe your mental pain then go for it. Do whatever you feel like doing but remember one thing you cannot afford damaging the situation further by hurting yourself. And suicide is never an option — so don’t ever think of that.
Accept yourself with your new condition and with a positive attitude
Keeping oneself positive when life seems to be standing on the extreme edge of negativity is really tough. But you need to do it. There are only two options for you.
- The first option is to keep complaining about your situation and take the burden of depression and other mental conditions along with your disability.
- The second option is to accept the situation and be positive and enthusiastic about whatever is left with you rather than sulking about what you lost.
It would be very cruel to say but you need to accept that you may not be able to do anything about your disability. When a person is stricken by a disability of permanent nature — the only option is to learn living with the disability. Please stop hurting yourself by asking the question “why?”
Embrace your disability with love
This may sound like repetition of the previous point but it is not. Accepting and embracing disability are two different things. Accepting is simply acknowledging the fact that you have certain kind of disability but embracing it means making an intimate relationship with your disability. I know I’m sounding like one but seriously I’m not nuts! If you don’t love your disability you’ll start hating yourself eventually. When you hate yourself no one would be able to love you. If you don’t embrace your disability you’ll not be able to suggest someone to shut their mouth when they show pity on you. Leave the past in the past and love yourself for who you are today.
Reinvent your relationship with your friends and family
It is a fact that at this stage you’ll start losing many of your valued relationships. You’ll see your friends and even family members drift away from you. It is very saddening but believe me this is the litmus test for the relations you’ve build. Those who are leaving let them leave as they were never yours. Be sensitive towards the one who are sticking with you at this stage of your life. Remember whoever is sticking with you is there because they love you. Don’t ever abuse their love by calling it sympathy. It hurts. If life is hurting you by being cruel towards you it does not mean you’ll pass on this cruelty onto your loved ones by hurting them.
Snatch back the remote control of your life from your life
You lost the control of your life when you met that fatal accident. But now it’s the time to take back the remote control and start controlling your life by yourself. The damages cannot be undone but rest of the things can be taken care of lovingly. Lead as active life as ‘you can’.
Don’t tell me you have lost all the activities of your life and that others are running very fast. This is the time you should learn to mind your own business without comparing with others.
Understand your limitations, recognize your strengths and work accordingly. It is now completely upon you to control your life. You may turn it either to negative direction or to the positive direction.
Take some professional helps
Until now you would never have bothered about disability rights and government grants for disabled persons. But now you need to know about them. Your disability might have made you unfit for your job. So you also need to take career suggestions from a professional about the scope of work depending upon your skills and the physical condition. Most of the people feel their disability had closed all doors of opportunity for them but seriously there is no dearth of career options if you get right guidance. If you are not being able to come out of your negativeness then you may also want to talk to a counselor.
Learn to speak up for yourself
It is a very common problem as soon as we are hit by an accidental disability. We assume that we have lost the right to speak for ourselves. We let people invade our lives and speak about it without thinking twice. You must assure your disability is not seen as permission card to interfere in your personal life and space. Disability does not make you less than a human being and so you still have all your human life. Don’t let anyone mess with your dignity by speaking derogatory or demeaning things about your life. Be prepared to shut up anybody as persons with disability keep on encountering with people who are very keen to ask questions like “how do you pee” and tell that you are getting the punishment of misdeeds of your previous life (as if they were the one who was appointed to calculate our deeds).
Make your house as accessible as you can
An accessible house means less dependence on anyone else. When you are less dependent, you lead a more confident and dignified life. If you are not able to do something the way you used to do it — then try and learn some other way to do it. After all, work is important, not the way to do it.
Suppose you lost your dominant hand then start practicing each and every work with your other hand. Let us assume you lost your power to stand and now the switch boards of your house are beyond your reach. Learn to use a wooden scale or something like that to switch on the light rather than calling someone else. Small achievement like switching on light also prove great when you are learning to live with your accidental disability. But please keep your limitations in mind while trying to do anything like this… don’t hurt yourself physically.
Don’t hide yourself in your home, come out and socialize
Although there are people who will only speak negatively; but still you need to come out of your comfort zone. You need to learn to deal with different types of people with confidence. You will certainly feel some bit of uneasiness to face people — but that uneasiness should not bind you inside your house. When you embrace your disability and show up to people in a comfortable manner they will also start accepting you as the part of their society.
Disability is a part of your life; don’t make it your identity. Your individuality should not be affected by your disability. The accident made you ‘disabled’ now it’s upon you to stay disabled or become ‘differently-able’!
We hope you liked this article. Please share your views and even more tips on how to handle accidental disability. Your contribution may help someone out there! Please use the comment box given below to share your thoughts with WeCapable. Thank you!