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Can You Suggest a New Life Plan for Me with Ataxia

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From Australia: Over the past 15 years since leaving domestic violence I have struggled with Ataxia which is the result of assaults to my head. I have found it hard to fit in since. My age group (I’m 72) lives a normal life while Ataxia limitations put me in another basket. I could only keep up with the aged persons.

Can you suggest a new life plan for me post domestic violence with ataxia limitations. I am not very good at things since acquiring ataxia. Very clumsy. Movement can be difficult. But there must be a good life out there for me. What do you think. Thanking you. Survivor of DV.

Can You Suggest a New Life Plan for Me with Ataxia

Answered by on -

A.

┬áIt must have taken great courage to leave a DV situation when you did. Your letter reflects your inner strength and resolve. You know you are entitled to a good life and you aren’t accepting anything less. Good for you!

If you haven’t already, I hope you will consult with an occupational therapist (OT) about ways to manage tasks you now find difficult. Occupational therapists help people participate in everyday activities (occupations) they want and need to do by adapting the environment, providing some adaptive equipment and teaching new skills to work around a disability. An OT may also be able to help you link up with peers who are more interested in someone’s abilities than the dis-ability.

I hope you will also look for activities you enjoy. Focus on what you want most to do (sing? exercise? book club? bird watch? — whatever). Then make contact with the leader of the group to learn more about the membership. If it doesn’t feel like a fit, start a group of your own. FaceBook and even Craigslist as well as networking with friends and with your doctors can help you form a group of like-minded people of all abilities.

Another option is to start volunteering for a cause or activity that you want to support. Choose something that will put you in regular contact with others who share your interest. Working side by side at a charity or a library will help friendships grow naturally. Often, once people get to know someone, they see the person, not the disability. (A bonus is that research shows that people who volunteer live longer!)

By the way, I hope you won’t let people’s age get in the way of making friends. As you know from your own experience, people’s minds and hearts don’t always match what their bodies let them do. Activities that include people of all ages can enrich us in many ways. The young keep us young. The old offer their wisdom. Those of us in the middle get the benefit of both.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Can You Suggest a New Life Plan for Me with Ataxia

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Can You Suggest a New Life Plan for Me with Ataxia. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/07/16/can-you-suggest-a-new-life-plan-for-me-with-ataxia/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 16 Jul 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.