Top Ten List CP – The Greatest Hits (So Far)

***Author’s Note: I’ve noticed a lot of my fellow CP warriors doing “Dear CP Letters.”  I have decided to do something a little different.  A top ten list of the greatest lessons/insights I’ve gained (so far) in 35 years. Hope you enjoy it and find it helpful. 

  1. I do not hate you. You frustrate me and I hate having to struggle on occasion. I hate feeling overwhelmed by you, but I don’t hate having you. You’re a part of what makes me who I am as a person.
  2. If you could chill out with the spastic muscles, and pain that would be awesome. Or at least give me fair warning. (I know you really can’t but it would really nice if that was a possibility.) “Non-progressive” disability (yeah right).
  3. The desire to fit in, I could care less if I do now. I admit once I graduated I felt the dire to go the same path as everyone else, and I was pissed when it didn’t happen that way. But the regrets I thought I’d have about that are lessons now.
  4. Life’s growing pains can turn into true purpose. From the time I was little, I’ve had always had the strong desire to help people. I have also always know that you CP and this chair were meant to be a big part of that. That’s why If I had the chance to walk without you, I’d turn it down. Why? Because I know I’d be a completely different person/woman without you. And I don’t know if I’d have the same sense of compassion and care for people and causes as I do now, because of the first-hand knowledge and insight you have given me CP.
  5. Thanks for not letting me fall into Alice’s dark hole of depression. I know that a lot of kids/adults struggle with depression because of their CP. But again, you have this uncanny ability to remind me that someone always has it worse than us. Thank you.
  6. Music speaks when words fail both you and I. If someone were to ask me if I saw myself as a die hard metal and rock fan, I’d tell them, “Hell no.”  But even before I dived into the mosh-pit of loud head-banging music; music was always there for us. From our first boy band, New Kids on the block. To 80’s queen of pop,  Debbie Gibson. Music always helped. I forgot about you, (CP) (no offense) for a while. I just got to be a 9-year-old screaming her head off watching one her music idols dance and sing on a gigantic stage without a care or worry in the world. Music has always been there. No matter the style or popularity. Music has always helped in dealing with life. Especially, in these last two years. And now, it’s the music of, Hellyeah, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, and Jonathan Jackson + Enation that help me deal with life.
  7. Humor is a great stress reliever. I am sure you have all heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” Well, I was taught from an early age that if you laugh with the world before the world can laugh at you that you would be okay. I think that has always been something that has helped me to show that world that I am more than okay with who I am, and I am not angry with God about you.
  8. Why I am not angry with God for giving me you. I realize that some reads may be taken aback by this, so let me explain. I died a total of 3 times, shortly after being born. And each time I was brought back. And there on I began defying doctor’s doubts more and more. The way I see it is if God wanted me to be like everyone else he would have. And If I wasn’t meant to be here with a message to convey to all of you, then God wouldn’t have brought me back to life 3 times. So no, I am not mad with God, instead, I am forever grateful, and I owe him my life.
  9. It’s okay to have moments, but do not dwell in them. Instead, dive into them, and face them head on. Go toe-to-toe with them, but NEVER EVER GIVE IN, AND GIVE UP. Your mess is your message to the world. Turn it into a beautiful one that people can not ignore.
  10. Heartbreak does have a purpose. Seven years ago, my baby sister, (who will be 30 in October) was diagnosed with a very serious, life-altering Neurological disease called cluster headaches. This disease is unfortunately not widely known in the medical field. And is mistakenly assumed to be mistaken as a “simple headache” that can be treated with over the counter medication is an extremely ignorant assumption to make about this condition. As you can imagine I became frustrated and extremely upset by the fact that, my sister was not only being not heard, but she wasn’t being believed at all.  That a person could be in such pain like my sister is, and still be able to function. So on July 31, 2016, I started my blog, The Abler: A blog for equality for the disabled community. Its primary purpose is to shed light, knowledge, and education on topics not only in the visible and invisible disability community. But also to topics that are considered too taboo to talk about. I want to start a conversation where we let go of fears and ignorance, erase the stigma, and begin to educate one another instead of judging one another. I can tell you first hand that watching someone you love suffer in immense pain and agony is absolutely heartbreaking, and leaves you feeling utterly, and completely helpless. So I turned what I saw as a complete mess into a message. And this journey with The Abler has ignited a passion in me I didn’t know I had. Passions are blessings too. I realize that now. And I am forever grateful for the opportunities started The Abler has given me so far. The people and friends I have met thus far have been just as wonderful and inspiring as the journey itself has. And I will be forever grateful, humbled, and thankful for everyone that has allowed me to be a part of their worlds and share in their messages, and stories.
Jessica Niziolek
Jessica is the founder of and writes for The Abler – a blog that deals with topics with far too much stigma, and not enough education or knowledge. She is an advocate for the disability community. Jessica is also a contributing writer for MEDIUM.COM. Lastly, she is a coffee and chocolate junkie who loves heavy metal and rock music.