New Day, New Choice
It's the start of a brand new day. Your eyes open slowly as you take in your first deep breath to fully wake up your sleeping body. You hear the birds chirping outside and the traffic slowly starting to get louder and louder as people rush to work. You haven't even flipped off the covers and you already have a looming feeling within your body signaling what type of day you are going to have.
My name is Miguel Ayala, I have Cerebral Palsy and this is a common scenario for me in the morning. What is the looming feeling, you might ask? It depends on the amount of soreness I feel on a particular day. If it's worse than usual, I know my day is going to be a bit more of a struggle and mentally prepare myself. There are some days however when I seemingly jump off the bed and am ready to take over the world! I use to let this physical feeling dictate how my day was going to play out until I realized I have a choice.
This is the real struggle of having a disability, deciding how much it's going to impact our internal well being. It's a balancing act, one I struggled to maintain for the majority of my life. I let my pain, feeling of not belonging, and my inability to do certain things completely overtake me. As I got older, I learned to value my disability but those feelings of unworthiness still remain. My experience has taught me that those feelings will never go away until you deal with them directly. That's why I started the "Down With Disability" YouTube channel. For most of my life, I felt alone in dealing with my Cerebral Palsy. I watched my brother have to struggle with his Epilepsy as well and made a promise to help others avoid, or at least help to cope with that crushing loneliness.
My motto in life has become, "Press Forward. Fear Nothing." It was said by a Catholic Nun of all people, Saint Katharine Drexel. I found it coincidentally during the darkest moment of my life and have strived to live it ever since.