Sorry I haven’t posted for a while – I finished my A Levels last month and have had a bit of resting time. But in that time I have discovered something, which is kind of the reason behind the blog post you are about to read.
If you read my About Me page, you’ll know that I touched upon the fact that I have Cerebral Palsy – Lets call it CP for short (I’m lazy!)
There are many different types of CP – mine primarily affects the muscles in my legs. They are weaker than the average person’s legs, so they’re continually tight and sometimes painful. This affects the amount of time that I am comfortably able to walk. Where perhaps someone could walk for one hour, I could only walk for about half an hour, give or take a few. So where long distances are a part of the equation, I use a wheelchair (which I hate using, but prefer over the tightness and pain… and the hills!) I also get muscle spasms. Doesn’t sound like much in writing but please don’t underestimate. CP, whatever type can have a massive impact on someone’s life. But not just physically. Mentally and emotionally too. We could be slower and sometimes have to adapt to alternative ways of moving around, but we still get to where we are going. We may take a little while to understand something, but we will. And we get on with life the way it is, but we’re still people. And just like anyone else, we can be happy. Or we can be sad, lonely, scared. But people with CP can still achieve, and that’s what many of us set out to do. Where there are differences, we want people to look past them and see the person behind it. Just like others, we have ambitions, and we want to fulfill them.
So why now? Well, today is different. In the time that I have been away from my blog, I have been thinking about a few things and discovered a few places that mean I don’t feel like I have to ‘hide’ all of this anymore.
The first of these is a book that I read last year, ‘What the **** is Normal?” by Francesca Martinez. This book is very important to me. It offers a voice of reason to fellow ‘wobblers’, accurately yet passionately detailing her journey from childhood to comedy. It also outlines society’s approach to difference from the norm but also offers a solution to the ways in which we can change this. She has readers like me laughing continually, using anecdotes to ensure that they don’t feel intimidated by the words ‘disability’, or CP. The book addresses sensitive issues with such a positive attitude. It’s so emotionally moving, and offers thoughtful advice about finding a career path and pursuing it – which even I am now looking to do by searching for apprenticeships. Its now a book that not only do I want to read again, but is very close to my heart. Given my personal feelings about my CP previous to reading this book, as I can honestly say it has changed my outlook on life. If you are looking for a book to read, I would highly recommend it to both teenagers and adults of all abilities. Wise words from such a wonderful wobbly lady!
More recently, I have gotten involved with CP Teens UK. In the time that I have been away from Sixth Form, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. I started thinking about my life how I was pretty lonely. When logging onto social media, I’d see people going out and doing things with their friends, and I wished I was able to join them. It started happening more and more, and so did my longing to be with them, because I’ve always enjoyed that. But recently I realised things were different, and I needed something/someone new in my life who understood the kinds of things that I have to deal with. So I contacted CP Teens UK, and its really opening my eyes. Despite only being involved for a short time, I’m already feeling the benefits, and I know that when I have a bad day I will be able to find someone to share that with. And when someone else has a bad day, I hope that they will be able to confide in me, as I enjoy offering support to others as much as I do receiving it. Thank you to the owner/founder Ellie and all those at CP Teens UK for all that you have done, and all that you are yet to do to help me!
If you have CP or know someone with CP and would like support, please get involved and check out the website, or search in Google. Its really worth it! http://www.cpteensuk.org/
Thank you for reading. I hope that this has helped you to understand a bit more about me, and that this is the start of a new journey!
Until next time, stay positive. Xxx