Getting into an accident that can potentially be lethal or life-altering is one of the worst tragedies in a person’s life. One minute, a person can be happily walking on the street and minding their own business. But the next minute, they can be struggling to fight for their life.
Nobody plans to get into accidents and hopes to disable themselves intentionally. Accidents occur with no warning whatsoever, and no victim gets to prepare for what will happen to them or how this one circumstance will change their lives forever.
Those people who do get to fight for their lives are survivors, even if the accident leaves them with a life-altering disability. Overcoming that battle only gives way for another challenge to begin: learning how to move forward as a person with a disability.
Having the courage to go on with your life despite everything that you have suffered through is a feat in itself. Finding ways to adapt to your new life, however limited, is the first step in moving forward. You are strong for wanting to help yourself, so here are other ways to help you cope with your new situation:
Getting Financial Help
An accident can make you unable to work for a living. When this happens, it can be almost impossible to financially support yourself alone, especially if you don’t have a disability insurance policy to help you shoulder the costs of your medical expenses and everyday living.
As soon as you can, you should apply for Social Security Disability benefits because it can take a long time to get approved. But once your health condition satisfies the criteria set by the governing body, you can receive an agreed-upon monthly benefit that can cover your day-to-day living expenses.
Applying for a claim can help you deal with your new way of life without worrying whether you will have food tomorrow. Even if you can do minimal work to get enough salary to cover some of your expenses, seeking financial help can be a great fallback.
Allowing Yourself to Mourn
The most important thing that you have to remember is that you are allowed to mourn for your loss and say goodbye to the kind of life you were accustomed to. You are not expected to be a ray of sunshine or be all smiles all the time to assure those who surround you.
But obsessively dwelling on the past and wishing that you could have avoided the accident can be unhealthy. So after giving yourself the time to grieve and accept your situation, make an effort to move forward. Your disability will not define you, and it shouldn’t stop you from living your life.
Instead of spiraling into a black hole of depression, you can use your time to navigate your condition. Find out everything you can learn about your disability, such as how it can progress or the possible complications that may arise. Knowing what you’re dealing with will help your prepare yourself for the future.
Finding a Support Group
There are so many others who can be dealing with the same experiences you are. In fact, it has been estimated that 1 in 5 Americans are living with a disability. And they are also learning to navigate their lives not only to survive but also to raise their quality of life.
Adapting to your new limitations might be easier if you surround yourself with a community that inspires you to keep moving forward. Joining a disability support group is the perfect avenue to find people who can actually understand what you are going through.
Knowing that you are not alone in this journey can help you battle the loneliness you might be feeling. Hearing about others’ real experiences as they fight through their own challenges can be your source of inspiration to keep fighting your own struggles.
Taking Better Care of Yourself
Some disabilities can’t be cured with physical therapy or rehabilitation. So if you have a permanent disability, you need to accept that it’s something you have to live with for the rest of your life and not an illness that will go away after a few days or weeks.
This means that you have to take better care of yourself — physically, mentally, and emotionally. For instance, if you can still exercise to build your strength, you should try to move your body because it can be beneficial to your physical and mental health.
You can also switch your unhealthy habits with healthier ones for your own good. One way to do this is to consume fewer empty calories from junk food and eat well-balanced meals to provide you with nutrition. Sleeping for a minimum of seven hours a day can also go a long way in living healthier.
Grieving for the abilities you lost and the future you have envisioned is part of the process of acceptance. Of course, it’s difficult to move forward with your life, but it’s not impossible unless you believe that it is. So live your life to the fullest in the best way you can.