There’s no telling when an accident or another type of medical condition will leave you disabled, yet too many of us are unprepared for this eventuality. If you are newly disabled, coping with stressful emotions, financial fears, and practical limitations can leave you feeling devastated. Learning how to live life differently will help you build a happy and rewarding life in spite of your new limitations.
Take the Time To Grieve
Before you can begin rebuilding your life, you will have to spend some time mourning the loss you have suffered. Even if you haven’t lost a limb, your inability to function as you did in the past represents a significant loss that will affect your future. This will stir up a broad range of strong emotions, which you shouldn’t try to suppress. Let yourself experience those feelings even if that means crying, screaming, or beating on a punching bag.
Even when you’re with family and friends, you shouldn’t feel compelled to put on a happy face to make them more comfortable. This is your time to grieve, and you should follow that process until you begin to feel better.
Look Up Resources Available to You
One of the first things you should do upon suffering a disability is to contact the Social Security Administration and inquire about filing an insurance claim for long term disability. You will need the assistance of disability benefits to support yourself, so filing a claim is essential. You may want to consult an attorney about filing your claim because a lawyer has the expertise and skills to help you get your claim approved faster and be a valuable resource.
Additionally, look into other programs that will help you meet your basic needs, such as food stamps and meal delivery programs. Making use of government and charitable programs will help you live a better quality of life [source].
Remodel Your Living Space
Particularly if you rely on a wheelchair for mobility, you should spend some time remodeling your living space to make everything more accessible to you. Instead of looking upon this as a chore or reminder of your disability, take this as an opportunity to create a stylish new look for your home. Lowering the sink or customizing a stovetop for easier reach will provide opportunities to create designs that meld functionality and aesthetics.
Although you may be remodeling on a very thin budget, you can look for discounted or free options that will make it easier to turn your home into a safe space. Don’t be afraid to use your creativity.
Open Yourself Up to New Experiences
At some point, you will have to leave your comfort zone and rejoin society. There are many different ways you can get involved in your community and benefit yourself in the process. One option to consider is to pursue a new career path in which you can work with your new disability. This can help you earn more than you’re receiving on disability while providing the opportunity to meet others. You can also join a fitness center to rebuild muscle in the parts of your body that aren’t affected by your disability. If you find yourself thriving in the gym, able to work around your disability, you may find there could be an opportunity to become a personal trainer.
Consider joining a support group, volunteering with a charity, or spending more time at your favorite cafe. By picking up a new hobby, you can meet other people with whom you have something in common.
Above all, it’s important to know that you’re never alone. There are services that will be available to you as you adjust to living with your disabilities. From talking with a therapist to researching government assistance programs, you can find the practical and emotional support you need. You may even be able to find others in your community who are facing similar struggles, and bonding with them will help you create a reliable support network.