disabled man in wheelchair arms stretched out towards the sky

Suddenly becoming disabled is not only a physical challenge, but a mental and emotional one as well. Roughly 40 million Americans, or 12.6% of the population, live with disabilities every day. Their day-to-day lives are drastically altered, as are their financial situations. 

If you have recently become a part of that demographic, learning to cope with your new reality is an incredible challenge. However, there are healthy ways to adjust. Here’s how you can cope with a sudden disability. 

It’s Okay to Grieve

Sudden disabilities are often the result of accidents or malicious attacks, both of which are horrifying experiences on their own. Add in a disability, and the amount of pain and anguish someone experiences can feel crushing. 

Don’t feel as though you have to be strong or tough right now. It’s okay to be upset, angry, and even depressed. Allow yourself to grieve and take the time to work through your emotions. This will help you come to a mental and emotional state of acceptance, eventually, and strengthen your resolve to move on. 

Cut Out Stress

Disabilities come with limitations, which is challenging for anyone to deal with. Finding a middle ground between what your life used to be like and what you’re capable of doing now comes with an intense amount of stress. However, you shouldn’t pile extra stress on top of that.

If you were involved in a malicious attack, for instance, take the legal stress off your shoulders with an expert like criminal defense attorney Kathleen Alvarado. You should also try to handle on life change at a time, helping you adjust gradually instead of trying to tackle everything all at once. 

A New Purpose

Disabilities often make it impossible to return to the same job you had before the accident. As you recover, now is an excellent time to look for new reasons to get out of bed in the morning. Maybe there’s a hobby you’ve put off due to work? If not, think about what you truly enjoy and pursue a new passion. 

Your Support Network

During this challenging time, you’ll need to rely on friends and family to get through. Some people may not find that enough or not have that type of support network. If that’s the case for you, then it’s vital that you build a new network. 

Start with your attorney, like these injury lawyers in Folsom. They can direct you to professional therapists, which is a vital foundation for healing your emotional and mental state. These same professionals can help you find groups of individuals going through similar situations to your own. 

Support groups contain individuals that can sympathize with you, relating to wat you’re going through and reminding you that you are not alone. These groups are also an excellent resource for learning about medical treatments, financial aid, and more. 

Be Kind to Yourself

The worst thing you can do right now is talk down to yourself or beat yourself up over your new disability. Work on talking to yourself in a positive way, even if it’s just a conversation in your head. Congratulate yourself on any successes in recovery, allow yourself to be pampered when possible, and create a daily routine that replaces your negative thoughts and emotions with positive ones.