Overcoming being shy has to be the most difficult thing for me to handle. I have been a shy and reserved person for as long as I can remember. Maybe since I was about 4 or 5 years old. Personally, I feel like it is due to the low self- esteem that I was dealing with in the past. To this day, I still doubt and question my capabilities. I always wonder, “How will I be able to do this?” or “How will my cerebral palsy affect me if I try to do this?” Questions like that always run through my mind. I think back to what my mom always say to me when I begin to think about those thoughts, “Don’t always focus on the negative things about yourself. Focus on the positive things. You are a beautiful person.” It’s normal to feel like this. I preach a lot about how to stay positive about cerebral palsy and epilepsy and continue to strive for your goals despite the fact, but there are those times when I can get really down about myself. I am that type of person that can get stressed out easily over things like my cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Having epilepsy and cerebral palsy and dealing with constant criticism and rude comments is hard as heck. It’s frustrating to deal with people in this world who don’t understand the life of a person with two neurological conditions. Don’t mock my gait. Don’t kick my braces. Don’t look at me like you seen a ghost. Don’t call me crippled. Don’t call me an epileptic. Don’t do anything of the sort. From hearing that, next thing you know I’m suffering from a complex partial seizure and crying right after it. Then, I have to call my neurologist to see what he is going to do next… increase my medications or add a new one. Who knows? I don’t want to keep on doing that. I have focused too much of my time and energy on what others think about me when I shouldn’t. It’s time to change and not let my medical conditions and what others think get the best of me.
Growing up, I was deemed “the loner child.” I always took things so seriously. I don’t like being around insensitive people. I want my feelings, wants, and needs to be heard and understood. If they aren’t, I shut down completely and don’t want to communicate with anyone. Who wants to be around that type of energy? Not me. The only people I can confide in are my dad, my sister, and my guy friend. That’s all. I have no one else. I’m socially awkward. It takes a while for me to warm up to someone. I have to get to know one person at a time. At times, I feel like I am alone in the world. On the other hand, I feel like this is me and I am not changing for anyone. It’s either you hate me or love me. As I am looking back to when I first started going to college, I have made a slight improvement in my social skills. I am talking a little bit more. I’m coming out of my shell and letting the true person that I am inside show. Overcoming shyness is not going to stop overnight. It’s a process. A process that will take some time.