Tag Archives: transitions with CP

FAREWELL, TEENCP (I AM READY TO LET YOU GO)

Here is my long overdue announcement & final post on the blog.

As of May 3rd, 2017 I will be disabling the comment/contact form as I will no longer be actively checking this website. if you would like to contact Katy, you can do so via Email: katy@cerebralpalsystrong.com & follow related social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

How did TeenCP begin?

….I was 17 at the time and in great need of an outlet to talk about what life is like with a physical disability. I wanted to find someone just like me, who could understand what I was going through. This was immediately a place where we could talk openly and honestly about how to deal with the comings and goings of adolescence and all of the feelings imposed by cerebral palsy. What became of this website was more than I ever could have imagined. I felt as though I had established a community, and in turn– I cultivated friendships with likeminded individuals who were just as excited to share their experiences with CP in the hope of helping other teens and young adults like ourselves. It was so exciting! After countless guest bloggers, newsworthy mentions, and even a few awards of recognition I felt like I was beginning to contribute something of myself that so many teens (and even parents of children with CP) could benefit from. I was empowered; these personal experiences, no matter how mundane they may seem to me, I know they are important to someone else.

TeenCP has taught me that everyone has a story, and there is no limit to our capacity to tell our stories no matter how unoriginal they feel. So much of our lives are lived online and so it is vital that we continue to impart all the knowledge we can–whether it is simply highlighting a pair of shoes that are easy to wear for our clumsy feet, or about a moment that changed one’s perspective on having a disability–it is all worth sharing.

LAUNCHING #CPstrong {click to follow}

Now it is 2017. I find myself having graduated college, traveled near and far, entered a committed relationship, gained work experience, and even applied to graduate school all the while, not writing as much as I hope to and barely keeping my online presence afloat. And I miss it dearly. At 24, I have entered into adulthood (or at the very least exited adolescence) which in turn, has moved far away from my TeenCP writer’s voice and constant feelings of inadequacy.

It is with this new blog that I hope to rejuvenate my voice in the disability community and share with you facets of my identity as a young woman navigating daily life with cerebral palsy. It is time to celebrate our bodies and all that life has to offer us and with www.cerebralpalsystrong.com, I plan to write about some exciting changes, adventures, realizations, and discoveries I have made about what it means to live life with a physical disability. I will elaborate on my philosophy behind #CPstrong and how it has empowered me to keep moving forward in this next phase of life in the healthiest way possible.

The spirit of TeenCP will remain alive & well in its new, more mature form. I welcome your stories in addition to my own and I want you to know that you are not alone in the daily struggle in all things CP. Those awkward teen years may be behind many of us (thankfully) but life moves forward and I know I am still finding my way amidst a sea of changes and lingering anxiety toward an uncertain future. That is why I want to share with you more about my life as I transition into this uncharted territory we call “our 20’s.” Most of all, I will always consider myself an advocate and voice for those who don’t know how to share their own story, or don’t have the platform to.

I whole heartedly believe that the world around us will only begin to understand what it is like to have CP so as long as we keep being vocal, proud, and open about our CP. It takes practice, time, and most of all courage but I sincerely support the idea that dialogue is one of the many ways we can rid our peers of stigma, ignorance, and fear toward those who are different than themselves.

As for www.teencerebralpalsy.com, it will remain as is, with all the guest blogs intact. I will archive it as its own small piece of history in the vastness of the ongoings in the disability community. I will also be changing the Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube account to some version of #CPstrong in the near future so keep an eye out if you are interested in subscribing to those channels! Thank you to those who helped keep it alive all these years alongside me!

Lastly, I am so proud to witness all of the progress that our community has made over the past several years in many ways. Although I have been a more passive participant, it seems that more people are writing, sharing, and opening up about cerebral palsy in the way that our technologies and media have never before allowed! It makes me so happy and I am excited to see where the next few years take us in terms of community, research, and social/political acceptance.

Thanks for reading!

Goodbye Teen Cerebral Palsy, Hello Cerebral Palsy Strong

-Katy

UCP-OC feature & a quote of the night…

Hello TeenCP!

Before I start, what do you guys think of the new latout? Some of my older posts won’t have a featured image, but I’m still working out all the kinks (with all the tech skills that I have of course, ha!)

Anyway, how awesome is this: United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County is now having me write a monthly post on their blog talking about being a young adult with CP! It is great to bring in such a unique aspect of having CP than most people at UCP are used to…many of the visitors are parents of young children with disabilities, so I am interested to hear their reaction from my thoughts and experiences. I am feeling pretty excited about this, because it brings forth a whole new spectrum of people within this community I would have never had the pleasure of writing to had I not started this blog two years ago! And really when it all comes down to it, I am only in this position because of you all who continue to read my blog! So I thank you for keeping me motivated to keep on writing even when the goings get tough.

Here http://ucpoc.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/lifes-a-journey-with-cp-and-me/ is a link to the little feature for you all to read, but just know that you guys are my number ONE go-to people in the blogging world! I have been doing a lot of writing about CP on OMF and now UCP-OC, (see blogroll on the right) but TeenCP always has been and always will be my home base 🙂 No one knows any better about living with CP as a teen than you all on here, right?? Anyway, what I am truly getting at is, I am feeling truly blessed right now, to be able to speak out to so many people on so many different levels.
Most importantly, I feel I owe this all to the  TeenCP followers and all the moral support you guys give me…I know there is never much action going on in the comments, but some of your emails that I receive make me smile and make this all worth while. Your words help me when I am down just as much as you think that I my experiences help you.

I had a thought jumbled up in my mind all day after I spoke with a friend yesterday about my transition from my home life to college life… and I translated it into this:

The truth may be shameful, it may seem bleak… But recognizing that truth shows that you are not weak.

Over the past few weeks, I have definitely enjoyed the process of transitioning into college, don’t get me wrong here… but lately I’ve been just having some troubling facing some truths of my own. I have been making things so difficult for myself I think, at school…It’s like once the semester came I immediately wanted to crawl up in the fetal position and say NOOOO life is starting!! When instead, I couldn’t see the exciting part of that (YAYYY life is starting!! I am free to be ME all on my own!) And slowly, I am turning my thoughts into positive ones…I am still learning that life is not supposed to be easy, life is about challenges and overcoming those challenges, and living it to the fullest more importantly… change is not always going to be easy… and CP doesn’t make it any easier my any means. I worry about my health, stretching and all of the other fun stuff about having CP brings forth.  This dramatic change that I am experiencing as I begin life on my own is making me realize all of this in the truest sense.

Back to what I was saying earlier, once I got off the phone with my friend, it was almost as if a wave of relief washed over me… My friend is right, this is my time, I am free to become who I am meant to be….I am not tied down by anything or anyone! The freedom is intimidating, but it is refreshing. I think that in order to make the most of this newfound freedom, I have to let go of any self doubt I hold, let go of my CP, let go of anything that is holding me back from being strong and CONFIDENT and go for it. Do any college CP friends have any advice out there? Anything you guys learned during a tough change in your life that you would like to share? I think we would all love to hear about it! I hope my honesty allows you to feel like you can be honest on here as well… we are all in this CP thing together, right?

Alright, I am mentally, emotionally, and physically tired now…

Goodnight all!

-Katy