My name is Patrick and I'm a 37 year old man who grew up in New Jersey. I was born hard of hearing and later would become Deaf-Blind and Bipolar. It's been a long and at times painful journey but I feel deeply appreciative of my disabilities. They've been the greatest teachers I've had in my life. To this day, I swear to you that if you offered me a cure for my Deafness, Blindness or Bipolar disorder I would turn you down. My disabilities have helped me to cultivate an extraordinary life and I am grateful for my lessons learned. It hasn't always been easy. There were hearing aid jokes, "what?" jokes and crazy jokes along the way. Little did I know that the things people joked about would become some of my tools for empowerment.
ALWAYS get back to it
I picked up some other tools that helped me along the way as well. I learned American Sign Language (ASL) and Tactile ASL, which helped me earn a Bachelors and Masters degree in Social Work from Gallaudet University. I've also been practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) since 2008. BJJ has helped me learn not only a martial art, but how to find truth within myself. It's helped me find physical and emotional health and embrace all of who I am which has allowed me to cultivate a positive, happy life. None of these endeavors has been easy. In fact I have failed repeatedly. I don't quit, I regroup and try again. I tell my friends, your goals are like a race and you are the only competitor. Sometimes go fast. Sometimes go slow. Sometimes take a break. ALWAYS get back to it. The only way to lose the race is to stop. As long as you stay in the race, you will cross the finish line. With the right tools, anything is possible. Pursue your greatness. Perseverance + Patience = Success