We live in a chaotic, unpredictable world in which terrible things go wrong every day. For instance, every year, thousands of people are injured in car accidents, diagnosed with cancer, or find out that they have a debilitating illness from which they may never recover.
While experiencing a life-changing disability is a challenging experience, you are by no means alone. Managing a disability after years of full health is something that thousands of people must contend with every week.
Have you recently experienced a life-changing disability? If so, take a look at the following tips on how to cope with your new situation.
Accept Your Feelings
It is perfectly natural to feel distressed after receiving a life-changing diagnosis and knowing that you are going to be disabled, potentially for the rest of your life. Some people, however, can try to suppress their feelings, something that can result in all kinds of unhealthy and destructive behaviours.
The best approach is to speak to a counsellor or somebody that you trust about how you feel. By doing so, you’ll allow yourself to grieve – an essential part of the healing process.
Adjust Your Environment
If you have a disability, you want to make sure that your life can continue in the same vein as before. Ideally, that means investing in the equipment that you need to maintain your independence. If you have trouble walking, you can look at different types of stairlift that can help you access all parts of your home. Similarly, you may want to install handrails strategically at the front door or in the bathroom. You may also need things like ramps and pull cords in the bathroom.
The nature of your disability affects the extent to which you need to make changes. Technology has moved on tremendously in the last few years, helping to retain your independence as much as possible.
Remind Yourself That You Can Still Be Happy
While disability takes away your capacity to do certain things, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy. The two are surprisingly unrelated. At first, however, this truth can take a little getting used to. You wonder how you’ll be able to live your life to the full while at the time time, being restricted in ways that you weren’t before. Try to ponder the positives, focusing on your goals. If necessary, adjust your purpose or use your disability as a catalyst.
Be Realistic About Your Goals
Some disabilities can leave you both physically and mentally scarred. It’s important to be kind to yourself. If you have experienced a severe injury or disease, then don’t blame yourself. Set small goals and focus on achieving those.
Join A Support Group
If you have a disability, you are not alone. There are countless people out there who have been through similar things. If possible, join a support group. Here you can learn from the experiences of other people who have been through a similar situation to you. You can get emotional support, encouragement, practical advice and friendship.