Once again this has been taken from the "Dealing with the Feelings" booklet as mentioned in the previous posts.
"Coping" doesn't mean you don't find life difficult sometimes, it means you find ways to live with the situation most of the time. The following are some ways that people managing the "disability juggle" have found useful.
CHANGING "ACCEPTANCE" TO "LEARNING TO LIVE WITH IT"
When loss of any kid occurs grieving people hear a lot of advice from others about the need to accept what has happened. When a child has a disability this is a particularly unreasonable expectation. Though you might be able to find silver linings for this cloud sometimes, the fact remains that for many people it is a cloud, at least at first. Sometimes life doesn't make sense and isn't reasonable and fair. Don't let anyone underestimate how hard it is to abandon your dream of life as it might have been to take on the reality of life as it is now. You don't hve to feel good about this, but facing the reality of it so that you can put your energies into dealing with the situation, rather than fighting if, does make things more manageable. Obviously some people find this easier to do than others.
HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR
Parents love to have a laugh about the sometimes appalling situations they find themselves in with someone who's been there and understands. Family members often find that habing a good laugh relieves tensiion and lifts their spirits like nothing else can.
DEVELOPING A POSITIVE AND COOPERATIVE SPIRIT IN THE FAMILY
When your family is faced with a lot of demands its worth investing time and effort into building this kind of spirit when you can. Prioritise things that yo enjoy as a family when you can. A cooperative spirit is also created when families talk through issues and make decisions together.
USING YOUR STRENGTHS
Living with chronic sorrow associated with having a child with a disability can leave people feeling inadequate and helpless. It often helps to think about your strengths and how you might use them to cope with the situation. ie if you are a people person, make sure you get out with others or join or start a support group.
LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF
Ask many parents of a child with a disability where their own needs come in relation to everyone elses and they'll usually admit that they put themselves at the bottom of the list. Mothers are especially good at this kind of self-sacrifice, but they are also often the first to agree that a break makes a big difference in their attitude to carrying on.. Doing something you enjoy, getting out and reminding yourself that there is life outside your usual routine really helps.
Well that is all the booklet has for coping, and again I am compelled to say it, God bless all parents raising a child with a disability, doing the disability juggle.........