It's important that I know others with Cerebral Palsy
I am not saying the world needs to know who I am because that in itself is crazy, and very hard to comprehend in the first place. However, even if it is a handful of people who have cerebral palsy know me then my aim of writing is fulfilled. When I was younger I didn't know anyone who had CP, the whole community of people out there only became apparent to me when I was about 14 years old. Finding that there were other people who knew exactly what it was like was eye- opening and heart warming. It was so fascinating to learn about the massive scale which is CP, and that allowed me to gain a much greater understanding of my own condition, which had previously only been restricted to my own experiences. After a few years of researching, I knew that I didn't want a young person who had CP to be alone, and to feeling like they were the only one on the planet like themselves. So hopefully by sharing my own experiences this can be limited.
By knowing others it means I can learn from them. I do not wish to portray myself as an expert by any means, although 18 years experience does help! But what about those with 30 years experience? They will know far more than me about the little tips and tricks to get through life in once piece and probably have tried many more forms or treatment or equipment. Through gaining more knowledge myself it has definitely helped and I know for certain that this will continue to happen. It also means that I am able to learn about the other kinds of cerebral palsy and to see just how varied things can be. On the flip side I can teach others, I can show them my tricks of the trade and hopefully make things easier for them. When talking to someone who is younger than myself, it nice to be able to show them a possible glimpse of the future and that it is possible to adapt more than you would imagine.
By knowing others who have cerebral palsy it can provide support. We all have bad days, so who better to go to when you're had enough of falling over, then someone else who has also had enough of falling over! The friendships which can be formed by knowing others going through the same thing is irreplaceable and something I believe is important. Having that support can also be extremely nice when celebrating the little victories that other people may not understand the enormity of. Similarly, the power of being able to say "I completely understand" and meaning it can be so nice to receive, but also knowing how much that would mean to someone else. On the other hand, I have found that attend events where I have been able to meet more people with CP has enabled us to all raise awareness together and encourage each other in the individual work that we do.
So if you are reading this and you have CP I have something to say. You are not alone in your journey, many people out there understand what it is like and I am one of those people.