Try like hell.

27 Sep

Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t been born with Cerebral Palsy. I wonder if I would have decided to be a dancer or maybe an athlete rather than an aspiring psychotherapist and a writer. I wonder if I would have spent my childhood climbing up into trees to read books rather than becoming all too familiar with hospitals, surgeries, and physical therapy. I wonder if I would have had a big group of friends throughout middle school and part of high school rather than coming home every day crying because I had no friends due to my differences. I wonder if I would have spent my time hiking beautiful mountains rather than having to wonder if I’d have the stamina to make it up the next hill.

Earlier this week, my dad said, “Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if you hadn’t been born with Cerebral Palsy. You could have had a wonderful life. You wouldn’t have had to struggle so much.” Though in the moment I wanted to interject and say I have had a wonderful life, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t say the words. As soon as I wanted to say something, the memories all came back. I saw myself sitting in a hospital bed screaming out in pain because of the spasms that wouldn’t stop. I saw myself in kindergarten getting my hair pulled every day because I was the one child on the playground who was unable to run away. I saw myself shaking as my classmates pelted me with doge balls during middle school gym class because I couldn’t move away quickly enough. I saw myself crying as a girl I didn’t know imitated the way I was walking and then said she did it because it was a “class assignment.” I see myself at 21, struggling with depression and still not being able to truly accept and be comfortable with having a physical disability.

You would think after 21 years I would be used to the cards I’ve been dealt in this life. The truth is, I’m not. Every day of my life is a challenge. On top of having to convince myself to go to class when my back and my muscles hurt, I have to try to convince myself to get out of bed and face the day even though I’d rather sleep to escape the overwhelming sadness and hopelessness that hovers over me like a dark cloud.

I’m trying to learn to hold on to the good moments, though they are few and far between. The color of the changing leaves during autumn, the few (but true) friends who have been by my side through all of this darkness, a dad who has never given up on me, a smile from a child fighting cancer after completing an art project I taught her. In the darkness of depression, it is very hard to remember those good moments, especially when the bad days outnumber the good. However, I’m trying. It’s all any of us can really do. We try like hell, and hope against all odds that we can kick this life just as hard, if not harder, as it kicks us every single day.

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17 Responses to “Try like hell.”

  1. sweetpea0944 September 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    I am the mother of a child with cerebral palsy. I can tell you what kind of person I was as the parent of a typical child and I can tell you how being a special needs parent changed me. I am a better person because my son with cerebral palsy caused me to slow down and look at life differently. His determination to make it to that next hill has inspired me to be stronger and strive to reach goals. I look at others differently. I see the soul of the person instead of the exterior shell because my son taught me that looks are deceiving. You can’t begin to imagine how many lives you have changed because you have triumphed over cerebral palsy. I see a change in the lives my son touches. I just want to encourage you to embrace who you are and play the cards you were dealt wisely and bet on the fact that the world is better because you are in it. Thank you for the honesty of your writing.

    • ameliaclaire92 September 27, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Thank you so, so much. I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

  2. photosfromtheloonybin September 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    Keep up the great attitude girl!! If you can’t change it, you may as well be positive and make the best of it. You’re strong as hell so I know you can do it, and I know that you are helping so many people by sharing your story :).

  3. tiffmnguyen September 28, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    wow, such an inspiration. thanks for sharing!

  4. belasbrightideas September 28, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Have missed your posts.

    All I can say after counseling people for 30 years is that we cannot know the secret pain others harbor, save what is physically evident or what they tell us. All human beings suffer, it is the nature of existence here on earth. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, nor make assumptions from what lies on the surface of things (the writer in you is sure to know this already).

    Somehow, the strength you gather, the lessons you learn through this dis-ability will grow your soul toward the realizations it is meant to come to in this life. At sixty, I know this like I know my own heartbeat.

    That being said, I am truly sorry for your suffering, and pray you will discover an increasing peace in your life, from whatever sources are possible, Amelia.

  5. gacochran September 28, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    When I first started blogging, your posts were one of the first I read. I was drawn because I grew not far from Asheville in SC, my dad spent the first year of his life at the Greenville, SC Shriners Hospital, but most importantly, you share from your heart. I believe this is what will guide you through this darkness. Having experienced depression, I can say that it is true – that in darkness is where some of the most amazing transformation can take place…a seed in the ground, a caterpillar in a cocoon, and you…can’t wait to see what you become! In your “dark night of the soul”, may light seep in…

    • ameliaclaire92 September 28, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

      Wow. I hardly know what to say. I am so honored my posts were one of the first you read, and ones you will continue to read now that I’m back to blogging. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. They mean a lot, especially during this difficult time.

  6. aaronpm94 September 28, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    Wooahh!! Amelia that’s a very inspirational story i mean i’ve been reading some of your past posts and i can’t imagine the great person you are. Let me introduce myself I’m Aaron a 19 years old guy at also as you feel like as an “inbetweener” because a i had CP but the tricky one left me a l”ittle friend” that i have had to face my whole life. A sequel , hemiplegia at left side of my body, but you know it’s a mircle i mean, i feel almost as normal guy with all the things that i passed; right know i’m study economics at the college. And you know as you i don’t exactly know to what group i belong to if the able-bodied body ones or the disable ones . It seems that finally found someone that understand my situation and i can share too.
    I cant wait to see a new post
    Have a nice week
    Aaron, “the inbetweener guy”

    • ameliaclaire92 September 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

      Aaron,
      Thank you so much for your nice comment. I have had so much difficulty with being an “in-betweener.” It is so nice to know there is someone out there who understands the frustrations of it. :)

  7. aaronpm94 September 28, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    Amelia, and excuse me if it’s annoying to you, but at the first time of my life i feel identify with somebody seriously. I hope if someday we can share some experiences and memories or keep in touch :D that would be awesome
    thank you Amelia , thank you so much :D

    • ameliaclaire92 September 28, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

      Oh trust me, it’s not annoying. I understand completely.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Imagine your life after cancer | MESOTHELIOMA - September 28, 2013

    […] Try like hell. | lifeintheblueridges […]

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