[fusion_text][dropcap]L[/dropcap]ike most people my age I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately. Trying to figure out what I want to do and who I want to be requires a lot of thought. Recently though, my soul searching has been taking a different turn. I’ve been thinking a lot about the person I already am and there is one question that just won’t leave my head. How much of who I am is tied to what I have?

There’s no question that CP is a big part of my life. I’m a (pretty much) full time electric wheelchair user. It’s impossible for it not to be, but I often wonder what my life would be like if CP didn’t exist.

I’m sure some of my personality is hardwired. My whole family loves music so I have no doubt I would too, even without CP. I do feel what I do with music would change though. As an able-bodied person I feel as though I would probably have gravitated towards cheerleading, gymnastics, dance, or an instrument. I don’t think I would have been a singer.

Similarly, I know that I would have a strong interest in books and movies regardless of whether I was able-bodied or not. What would probably change though is the type of things I read and watch. I’m really into medical shows like House, Untold Stories of the ER, Mystery Diagnosis, etc. I also love to read any book with a disabled character in it. I think if my disability did suddenly disappear I would avoid those and gone more towards suspense or horror shows/books. (I habitually avoid them now because they kick my startle reflex into high gear)

Lack of disability would have a huge impact on my writing as well. I wouldn’t be writing stories that predominately feature disabled characters, and I most certainly would not be posting on this blog right now. I would know nothing about the disability community and it would probably have no desire to write about it.

The last thing that I feel would change if I did not have CP is my career choice. I want to be a social worker. People’s minds fascinate me. Maybe this is because my mind is the only part of me that functions completely as it’s supposed to. I think I would have picked a much more physically active career if I was able-bodied.

Sometimes thinking about all the things that would be different gets me down. There have been many occasions where I laid awake at night picturing myself dancing, or walking in high heels. The fantasy only lasts a few minutes though before my brain starts trying to insert something to disable me, whether that is a car accident, or breaking a limb. My brain will try anything to get back to what it knows and understands. I don’t know if this means that I’ve completely accepted that disability is part of my life; I think it just means my brain wouldn’t know what to do if it were given a functioning body. After eighteen years of struggling to perform everyday tasks it’s become normal. When something actually is easy to do, it’s a pleasant surprise.

I’ve learned how to function in a body that doesn’t and I wouldn’t have it any other way.[/fusion_text][imageframe lightbox=”no” lightbox_image=”” style_type=”none” hover_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”https://cpexperience.com/shop/” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ hide_on_mobile=”no” class=”” id=””] [/imageframe]

10 Responses

  1. I have often wondered what life would be like without CP, would I have the same personality I have now. I believe having CP has made me more empathic toward people.

  2. Hi Shaylee. Being a mom of an 8 yr old boy suffering from CP I understand how it feels to be trapped in ur own body. Have seen the desperation in my son. But another thing I’ve seen in him is his day Dreaming. His mind wanders a lot n thru his day dreams he lives his life like an able bodied child. N that makes him soooo happy.

    So never stop dreaming coz that is hope in disguise. 🙂

  3. Oh my God! I swear I could have written this! You and I are so alike it’s scary! It’s good to know I am not alone. Thank you for sharing this!

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