Making an Effort
There is one phrase my mother used to say that drove me crazy each time she said it. Whenever I did something that was below her expectations, like getting a low grade in school, or not doing my chores around the house, she would look at me with a heavy brow and say, "Katie, I’m so disappointed." I used to wish she would just yell at me or ground me. But no, she had to make me accountable for my actions, and think about their results. Looking back on this, I’m glad she did this. It has made me a stronger person and I now follow through on what I say and do.
As people with disabilities, we may face physical challenges that can affect our efforts including; bladder infections, pressure sores, lack of attendant care or lack of transportation. All of us, some more than others, have hurdles to overcome, in just getting out of our front door.
Our mindset can affect our level of effort. Having left rehab, you might not want to interact with that environment any longer. I guess it depends on your feelings, and the experiences you had during your rehabilitation. I remember hearing one individual say, "I was a mean person before my accident, and I’m not going to change!" Then there are those who use their incurred disability as a turning point, and have continued living life with differences.
But the bottom line is this: we must have a solid base to build a steady structure. There is no better way to construct a network than by making an effort and getting yourself out there socially. There is life after rehab. We need unity in our community to pool our resources so as to guarantee our population’s success in all aspects of daily living.
Katie Rodriguez Banister works with audiences to embrace diversity
through motivational speaking and disability education.