Last month, I wrote about how I took the plunge into the world of sharing my perspective through video on social media. Having been socialized to feel shame, embarrassment, and even fear about sharing myself this way because of my disability, I experienced conflicting emotions about the potential ramifications. My initial endeavor proved to be overwhelmingly positive, rewarding me with a boost of validation and camaraderie from others who could relate.
I’ve posted a few more videos since my debut. The content typically consists of short updates about my life intermingled with anecdotes or passionate rants. Seated in one of the only comfortable positions for me, I prop up my phone on a music stand, press record, and allow the ideas inscribed upon my mind to flow.
This weekend, my video regime graduated to an unprecedented and unexpected level. As someone who has been confined to my home due to the threat of exposure to daily chemicals that can cause toxic reactions, coexisting in the community can be challenging. But my experiences with navigating the big world have gradually bloomed over the last several months.
Though still mostly unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and extremely exhausting, being in public spaces with other people has been magnificent. Reintroducing a shred of socialization, connection, and mere proximity to others is helping me to feel human again.
An opportunity to connect with one of my most cherished friends over the weekend had me glowing with anticipation. To share space, chat, laugh, and simply be together is a miraculous feat I would have been incapable of a year ago. With the sunshine caressing our shoulders, I decided to add another element to the mix. You guessed it: We filmed a video together!
Combining the simulation of the environment, exposure to the elements, and a live audience surprisingly offered little threat. Without much preparation, my dearest friend and I began a hilarious exchange on camera. With my arm wrapped around his shoulders, I would later replay the video over and over again. In addition to the abandonment of any self-conscious doubt, another miraculous sensation flowed from the video: joy.
So often I sum up the entirety of my existence with perpetual feelings of sadness and disconnection. I am constantly flummoxed when people say that I seem to radiate with a kind of life that flows from deep within. How could this be when I feel as though I am continually hanging on by a thread? Now I know. The buoyant laughter and wild freedom from thoughts of the future or the past propelling me forward in the video are evident.
Having never before experienced myself in this way, I’ve gained a new perspective about my capacity to persevere. Though exhausted, overwhelmed, and pained, this video allowed me to see the aspects of myself that shine brightest: love, light, hope, humor, and joy. Though ethereal in nature, the half-minute video my friend and I spontaneously recorded this weekend will remain a treasure I hold onto as a token of living and motivation forever.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disorder. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.