I live with chronic physical illness and I really don’t like talking about it, especially online.
Honestly, it’s mostly because I don’t want my future husband to see me as an invalid. I don’t want anyone to see me as weak or incapable (although there are several things that I can’t do). I like to pretend that my disability doesn’t exist sometimes. Even after writing an intimate memoir that discusses my journey in detail, I still get insecure about people’s perspectives on it. But I’m in the process of starting over when it comes to how I think about things and one of them is my thoughts about myself. I have to let go of my fear of being judged and refused due to my physical challenges. The weird part?! I’m ALWAYS receiving compliments, getting hit on, asked out or discovering yet another secret admirer. Of course I can’t forget the random proposals. I almost get more attention since I’ve been obviously disabled (wheelchair or walker use) than when I didn’t use assistance. Is that a fetish? Hmmmm Anywho! A topic for abother post. *side eye*
Starting over isn’t my favorite thing to do ’cause it’s uncomfortable; but I get a thrill out of breaking free from anything that holds me back or tells me what I ain’t and can’t. I’ve come too far and have overcome too much to get stuck. After all, life is too short (and I know better).
It’s interesting that God has allowed my physical abilities to be attacked. Because of dynamics in my childhood, I have always had a sense of being incapable. My younger years were full of critiques and little to no praise or acknowledgment of my strengths. I believed that I couldn’t do anything right. I became addicted to aiming for perfection. Fast forward to years later, when in my 20’s, the very things I was certain that I was capable of were the main things I struggled with: talking, sitting up, walking, driving, brushing my teeth, getting dressed, combing my hair, etc. I ended up unable to do just about all of them. The simple things of life became difficult and the difficult things, that were once only dreams, became realities.
I found my voice and my ability to advocate for myself. I wrote a book! I walked away from toxic and abusive relationships. I stopped looking for external validation and learned how to acknowledge and be okay with my emotions and opinions. On my journey of hope and healing, I started my brand and ministry, Moments with Missy™. Despite being shy by nature, I began to enjoy public speaking, blogging, hosting workshops, being interviewed, hosting radio shows, sharing intimate details of my failures and successes with complete strangers. Wow! Becoming physically disabled was one of the best things that could have happened to me. I have had to live outside of my little boxes. I like it!
Being chronically ill is not easy at all. Don’t think that I have it all figured out. I get frustrated. I face depression. I get tired. But being able to thrive and enjoy life regardless of what my body does is a gift! I was afraid to cruise while disabled but I flew my power chair and did it anyway. I loved it. No regrets. I can’t wait until my next one. I’m so blessed that I’m able to do a lot of the things I enjoy. The activity just has to be modified. Losing my independence, what I thought was my most important strength, allowed me to learn what strength really is. Strength is not solely physical. Strength is found in the heart and in the spirit.
So, as I face 2019 and my future, I have to stop being afraid of what my body can’t do. I have to make sure that I don’t limit myself. I want to set my mind and my body free. I’m scared and excited at the same time. I’ve already been outside of my comfort zone. Maybe it’s time to go out a little more. 😲 My physical disability has been a tool for success. I can’t allow it be anything other than that.
What are you hiding? What do you pretend doesn’t exist? Is there anything that you’ve lost that has made life seem impossible? I get it. I also know from experience that it doesn’t have to be the end. You may have to start over in many ways but I hope that you make the necessary adjustments and allow life to become more amazing. There are so many wonderful surprises waiting for you. The secret is believing and hoping in something better while actively working towards it. It gets easier with practice. 😉
If you would like to, you can keep up with me across the internet. If you scroll to the bottom of this page there are links to my social media profiles. I have posted live videos on the Periscope app. Please visit your app store to download it. Inside the app you can search for me by name or handle @MomentsWMissy. You are invited to join my email list. Positive changes are coming to my email family in January. I’m excited!
If you would like to schedule a free 15-minute chat with me, feel free to do so by sending me an email.