You are a carer if you offer emotional support to someone that relies on it to keep going. We asked disability blogger Zachary Fenell to tell us why he believes listening and encouraging others is so important.
“My name is Zachary Fenell. I am a person with a disability, specifically mild spastic hemiplegia cerebral palsy (CP). Given my case’s mildness, I am pretty independent. I require no assistance to eat, bathe or dress.
I want to show how it is possible to be caring through communication whatever your own personal circumstances. If you offer emotional support by listening and talking to those around you, you are a carer.
I make an effort to put myself out there into the cerebral palsy community. Efforts including blogging weekly, publishing a cerebral palsy memoir Off Balanced, and running the online CP support group CPChatNow which includes weekly Twitter chats on Wednesday evenings.
My motivation to share extends to my own personal experience. Growing up I associated disability with terms like “weak” and “inferior.” Consequently I felt embarrassed by my disability, leading me to attempt hiding my CP. Off Balanced details my journey from embarrassment and I figured my story could benefit anyone experiencing similar emotions. It is comforting to know you are not alone.
Sometimes a person needs to rant and verbalize his frustrations. Choosing to listen allows the person a release and your words can give encouragement. For example, through my experience of doing a marathon, I have helped others work out how to incorporate more physical activity into their lives.
Overall emotional support truly possesses incredible power. Whether freeing a person from feeling isolated, serving as a sounding board for frustrations, or supplying encouragement a little emotional support can positively impact someone in rewarding ways.
You can check out my blog at http://zacharyfenell.com or my memoir Off Balanced (available on the Kindle and Nook). Finally, feel free to join the CPChatNow Twitter chat. The chat takes place Wednesdays at 8pm ET. Simply use the hashtag “#CPChatNow” to contribute.”
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