It’s a fact of life that everyone faces challenges. But the term “fragility” is often used with a hint of contempt as if acknowledging any aspect of human vulnerability is somehow shameful. This attitude can make it difficult to cope with negative events or difficult situations. The truth is that some aspects of existence can be unpleasant, but they also provide opportunities for growth and development. Peer specialists can serve as examples of how survival is an essential part of the human experience.
With the right support, it is possible to overcome any fragile moment. Moreover, we can show others that there are alternative ways to approach these moments. By focusing on the bright spots that exist amidst the darkness and adversity of living with a disability, we can inspire hope and resilience.
We all have our moments of fragility and vulnerability. Sometimes these parts of our lives are hard to see, even for those closest to us. But for many of us, it’s an ongoing struggle just to get through the day. As a Peer Specialist, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to many people share their experiences and ideas about how to support each other in therapy.
Talking about disabilities can be tough, especially when it starts to feel like we’re just being pitied or made to feel helpless. But that doesn’t mean we can’t acknowledge the fragile and broken parts of our lives. We all deserve to be treated with fairness and respect by our therapists and caregivers.
When we’re supporting someone with functional impairment, it’s important to address the fundamental challenges they face. Sometimes there are parts of our fragility that just won’t heal or recover fully. And not everyone is resilient enough to handle the setbacks and obstacles that can get in the way of our goals and dreams. For me, one of the most important things is being able to avoid accidents and make it to the bathroom on time – not the most glamorous topic, but an essential part of living with certain conditions.
But just because we have our struggles doesn’t mean we’re unhappy or that our lives are any less valuable. We all have our ups and downs, but we can still strive for a better quality of life and work towards achieving our goals. With support and understanding, we can help each other navigate the challenges that come with being human.
The focus of treatment for individuals with a diagnosis should not be solely on blocking symptoms of fragility. Instead, a forward-thinking treatment that prioritizes the consumer’s quality of life should be implemented. Practitioners must work to strengthen an individual’s weak points in functioning, regardless of any interfering symptoms. By doing so, we can create pathways for each individual to control their quality of living.
Sometimes, therapists may attempt to treat fragile or resolved symptoms. However, chronic or hardly treatable impairments may cause individuals to experience discomfort or no relief from their symptoms. It is essential to refocus treatment on the weak points in an individual’s functionality, regardless of the symptom(s) blocking or creating impairments. Dwelling on unresolved or chronic symptoms and strengthening fragilities in functioning will not assist us in moving forward in our healing.
In terms of healing, wounds or scars may not always heal or close properly. Effective daily maintenance and care may be necessary to keep moving forward in healing and recovery. Being truthful with our mental and physical status and having impressive self-management skills can go further than waiting for a miracle cure. It is not always the problem that is the key focus, but the solution.
Fragility is a part of the human experience that we all must accept. Despite having difficulties with our body or mind, we must keep moving forward one hour at a time. Giving in to our fragile moments will only hinder our progress. By maintaining a positive attitude and focusing on our strengths, we can accomplish more and feel better both physically and emotionally.
Howard Diamond is a New York state-certified peer specialist from Long Island.
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