HANDLING DISABILITY ISSUES – the other side of normal
Everyone gets injured; there is nothing unusual about being impaired especially since injuries are considered normal. The problem occurs when we are challenged by a difficulty that impairs our natural physical abilities for a long period of time making it harder for us to engage in “customary” activities that are so much a part of our identity and our everyday lives.
Feeling vulnerable is the other side of normal, in that we cannot avoid experiencing a certain fear that any carelessness on our part may make us more susceptible to further injury. Being hyper vigilant is one of the ways we remind ourselves to take it easy and we can take it too far if we are not careful, but if we do not remain guarded to some extent, we can easily complicate our impairment status.
It is this protective stance that one must maintain to prevent further harm that can put others off and tends to try their patience especially, if they insist on perceiving us in the same manner as they did prior to our disabled state.
The most challenging part of having to work through the process of living with a disability is in the knowing of how to cope with the basic maneuvering of certain tricky situations that come up. People who have disabilities are often wrongly thought of by others as ultra dependent and desperate for consideration and chronic assistance.
One of the reasons for this is that when a person is disabled it seems to those who are not, that the person with the impairment is extremely needy overall. And yes, it is true that every circumstance does presents its own set of obstacles and numerous unique restrictions require that he or she must place painstaking attention on practically every activity he or she chooses to perform, but over time a sense of acceptance sets in (at least to some degree) the barriers brought about by the restricted use of the body part can and often does, make one more resourceful than he or she was before.
Living on the other side of normal means living with a disability and all that it entails, insisting that we be more inventive when approaching daily behaviors, which is not to say is an all together bad thing.
One cannot expect to bypass feelings of self-pity occasionally – whether expressed openly to those we trust or not, however, there is often a flip side to the dark emotional aspect that accompanies a physical disparity even despite feelings that one’s world is laden with sadness and experiences of isolation that a disability can most certainly amplify at times. It is good to know however, that there is outside support that exists to reshape the reality of one’s impaired condition.
A brief visit to a local pharmacy is the best verification of this fact; there are developers and manufacturers of many items designed to provide comfort and reduce pain to the injured who work incessantly behind the scenes to counteract the issues.
Strolling down the isle of a local drugstore, one cannot help but see proof of the efforts just by gazing at the immense inventory of items available. Multitudes of items line the shelves familiar products such as braces, back and abdomen belts, finger and toe stabilizers, arm slings, comfort lift knee support and numerous support garments, not to mention accessories – items like cold pack belts, sports gauze wraps and self-grip tape as well as all varieties of elastic bandages.
We tend to ignore “normal” until we find ourselves living on the other side of what we think of as common living and quickly discover the other side of normal is normal too, in its own way, a revelation that brings us face-to-face with ourselves and our limitations regardless of their impact.
It is when one finally comes to realize that there are as many aids available to one to solve his or her challenges and to render him or her less vulnerable than there are obvious obstacles in his or her path. And, although, disabilities can make us feel and even appear defenseless to those around us to those that can be classified as the non- affected, there is in our mist, many who too reside on this side of life with us.
No one can disagree with the fact that an impairment surely puts to the test our temperaments, but despite all the adjustments that must be made for an impairment, we can still benefit by the learning of so many new things such as our attachments to the people, places and things and how we can explore more of our emotional lives.
“Disabilities do not rob people of their lives, they reassign their priorities and award creative license to those least affected by them.”
V. Rayner. (Aesthetic Healing Mindset Blog 2012)