Dakota Center for Independent Living

New Year, Better You

Almost a month into the new year and some people have probably already started dreading making all those new year resolutions that are so popular. I never make them. I decided years ago it puts too much pressure on me to try and be perfect on things I already know I am not going to be able to keep. This year it is all about just trying to better myself in one way or another. In doing so it has changed my whole family and I am just so proud of them and the progress they have made.

I started making some changes the end of last year when I put all my anxiety aside and applied for unemployability through the VA. I was so anxious and nervous but I knew I had to do this. It worked out and I was approved. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and now I could focus on other important things in my life. I was able to get a more reliable car for us that we have needed for years and not fear it is going to break down every day. I can now help my 8 year old get the help he needs because he is really struggling to focus in school and is having some issues with his behavior at home.

The biggest change this new year has been in my 17 year old son. Before he was being very disrespectful, would not listen and really had no direction in life. He would pick on his younger brother so much and did not care about anything. He then decided to join the National Guard. He went to one drill weekend and something really clicked with him. He came back with a whole new attitude. He is trying so much harder now to be respectful and do what he is told. He is trying to help his brother which in turn is helping his brother’s behavior. We had a nice talk and he apologized to me and I apologized to him too. I know for him it is not easy having a parent with disabilities. I am proud of the young man he is becoming. I know he will do a great job.

So this new year it may have started out with some low points at times but one of the best points was hearing my son is proud of me. I am going to the gym, not so I can get super skinny but so I keep myself in shape so I am here for my kids and grandkids. My 8 year old is slowly getting his behavior under control with help and I have learned to love myself  disabilities and all. This is going to be a good year.