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What Christina Applegate’s Sentiment On Being A Disabled Mom Made Me Realize About My Own Journey As A Disabled Mom

This entire blogging website’s motto is mental health. I talk the talk when it comes to mental health, especially one relating to disability, illness and now more on a frequent basis, motherhood. But the real question is, do I walk the walk when it comes to mental health? Sometimes I wonder and question it myself. I have my bad moments of doubt and despair. I even have my bad days. It’s hard enough to be a woman who has a physical disability and a chronic illness. It’s even harder to be a mother who has a physical disability and a chronic illness.

My son didn’t choose this life for himself. He didn’t choose to have a disabled mother. His disabled mother was the one who chose to give him life. I had him knowing that I have cerebral palsy and epilepsy. What I don’t know is how this will affect him in the future, and that scares the sh*t out of me. Yes, I consider myself an able-bodied person. Yes, I live as normal life as I can. I take care of my son with little to no help. But I’m human. I want the best for my future and my son’s future. The last thing I want is for him to be my caregiver when he gets older. I didn’t have him just so that he’d be my full-time caregiver. I had him because I wanted to have a piece of me and my husband.

I stopped relying on any doctors when it comes to taking care of my health. I rely on listening to my body and getting my information on social media on other epilepsy warriors like me. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of stories where others share their experiences of their parents struggling with cerebral palsy and/or epilepsy. The offsprings of those who have cerebral palsy are more empathetic than your average person. Just recently, I stumbled upon one influencer who has cerebral palsy and has a large following. He’s been married for almost 30 years and has grown children. In one reel that he posted, he apologizes to his adult son for not being enough as he can’t do the little things that regular, able-bodied dads do with their sons as he’s bound to a wheelchair. The camera turns to his son, with a caption that reads, ‘You are enough’, followed by loving pictures of them both throughout the years.

Epilepsy is another spectrum of it all, and it’s actually been my main source of inspiration for my health journey. Cerebral palsy has been a disability that’s been with me my entire life. I don’t know a life without it. Epilepsy, however, came into my life as an adult. I had to adjust my entire life completely in order for me to experience a well-grounded life. Every decision I ever make now revolves around epilepsy and the avoidance of seizures. But of course, no matter how much you try, you can’t always avoid seizures. I had a couple of grand-mal seizures in my son’s short life span. I’ve seen people write how they had to take care of their parents who struggle with seizures. To my sadness, it was too many stories that I read. Particularly, one person wrote how they had to take time away from school at age 11 to take care of their mother who struggled with seizures just like I did during the time I was just diagnosed and the years that followed.

I mentioned Christina Applegate in my previous post. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2021 while filming her Netflix TV show, Dead To Me’. She’s been very open about her struggles with the disease, and will now have her own podcast show alongside her friend, Jamie Lynn Singler, who also struggles with MS. In her recent interview with People Magazine, Applegate opened up about how her MS diagnosis affected her daughter, Sadie, and how she lost her mom in the process.

“Dancing with her every day. Picking her up from school every day. Working at her school, working in the library. Being present out of the house, out of my bed. She doesn’t see those things anymore. This is a loss for her as well. And we’re both learning as we’re going along,”

Now, Sadie has noticed that her mom isn’t always able to do things that she used to, like drive her to school, and she knows that when she sees Applegate laying on her side, it means “she can’t ask me to do anything.”

She added, “And that breaks me, breaks me. Because I love doing stuff for my kid. I love making her food. I love bringing it to her. I love all of it, and I just can’t sometimes. But I try. I try.”

“It’s heartbreaking when you have to say to your kid, ‘I can’t.’ It’s like the worst feeling in the world as a mother. You’re their protector in life. When you have to say, ‘I can’t,’ it rips your soul apart. I freak out about it every day.”

And that made me realize…

I’m actually very lucky. I’m lucky that I had time to adjust to my new life where every decision I make is surrounded by my epilepsy diagnosis before I had my son. I needed to be okay with myself and my new life before I brought another life into the world. I needed to make sure I was strong enough, mentally, emotionally and physically, before I brought another life into the world. The toughest part for me was that I was navigating my life as a newly diagnosed epileptic and going through infertility simultaneously. It was my life for 5 years. In hindsight, part of the reason I went through infertility was because of my epilepsy diagnosis. And even when I did get pregnant, I almost lost the baby multiple times due to me suffering two grand-mal seizures, as well as a car accident.

What Christina Applegate’s words made me realize about my own life was that it was really just a blessing that I didn’t have my son sooner. You can’t force things to happen to you. Everything comes to you in its own time; when it’s YOUR time. And if whatever you wished for to happen doesn’t happen to you, then maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. I know that I desperately wanted a baby. I had an entire timeline for my life. Of course, that timeline went to sh*t, and that was the best thing that ever happened to me. It ended up being exactly what I needed.

Every decision I make affects not only me, but my family as well; My son included. My son was included as soon as I got pregnant with him. It wouldn’t have been fair for him if I had him sooner, for it probably would’ve destroyed him. He deserves to have a mom who’s fully present for him; or as present as she can be if you consider the fact that his mom is disabled. So far, I think I’m doing a pretty damn good job at it.

I’ve been the most present as I’ve ever been in my entire life since becoming a mother, and it’s because I have to be if I want my son to thrive. I want him to see that his mom is thriving herself despite her hardships. It’s been extremely hard, and I’m not even going to lie about it. The first year was especially the hardest, and I’m so f*cking proud of myself for surviving it. There were so many times that I questioned myself whether or not I was caught out to be a mother. There were so many times I questioned whether or not I’d be enough for my son. Every day gets a little bit easier. No matter how hard it gets, seeing my son smile when he’s in my care ends my worries and doubts each time.

Motherhood is the toughest job in the world, and my goal in life is to be the best mother I can be for my son. That means that I the work I put in on myself, my mental health, my physical health, my chronic health and my mental health NEVER stops. For if it does stop, I’m letting myself down, I’m letting my family down, but most of all, I’m letting my son down, and I can’t ever let that happen.

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