I apologize for doing a way back Wednesday post, however, I had a car accident last week and am suffering from whipash that is very painful and am unable to sit for very long. No worries though, I have plenty to write about as soon as I can sit down to write! For now, wnjoy some oldies but goodies and talk among yourselves!
When you have a physical limitation or disability it can really, well… stink to miss out on certain things in life. Everything I do has to be planned out. If I am going out for an afternoon I have to be sure to have my medication and my seat cushion. I need to know how long I will be in the car and how long I will be walking, sitting and standing. The unfortunate truth is that disability can sometimes mean that you have to forgo things in life that you really want to do. From the minor things, like a day trip to the city, going shopping or vacations, to the major things, like having a family or a career.
So how do you deal with the letdowns? How do you stop fearing that life is passing you by while others live it? I wish I had an answer, but truthfully, living with a disability makes me sad because there are many times I feel like I have gone AWOL on my own life.
Prior to becoming disabled, I travelled, I had a career. I had a lot of hobbies and a very full calendar. Since meeting my husband four years ago I have wanted to visit the country where he grew up, Peru. However, I am not able to be on a plane for 8 hours because I cannot sit for more than an hour, and getting to his hometown takes an additional 6 hours by bus. My heart wants to go where my body cannot. At the same time, I cannot expect my husband, family or friends to stop living their lives just because I can’t.
Over the past few years I have had to miss several events, vacations and even holidays. It can be very depressing to sit home alone, while your family and friends are out having a good time. I have had to come up with things to do to make myself feel better. Depending on the length of time that I have to myself, I try to ensure something fun for myself. Remember, it’s not selfish to do something to treat yourself because, after all, others are out having fun, you should be too!
Some of the things you can try include:
- Rent a movie.
- Get your favorite takeout or snack.
- Plan an evening in with friends when possible. If hosting is difficult, ask friends to bring snacks and help clean up. Keep it low key.
- Enjoy the solitude of being home. Not every night has to be boring. Hog the bed, read a book, do a craft project, write a story…just do something that YOU enjoy doing.
- Watch your favorite TV shows and hog the remote.
- Pamper yourself: treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure, facial or massage, or get a haircut. Sometimes, when I am home and bored, I change my hair color…it’s just something to make myself feel a little prettier and boost my self-esteem.
- Go on a small shopping trip, even just window shopping can boost your mood.
The unfortunate fact is that no one chooses to have a disability or pain and we can’t always control what we can and can’t do, but as we all know, living with chronic pain means making adjustments. If you feel like you are missing out on too much, maybe ask family or friends to plan (or let you plan) something that you can participate in once in a while. Whatever you do, try to make the best of a bad situation and enjoy life the best you can.