Submitted by Sherry Longcor, Transition Coordinator
Living an independent life after institutionalization: Facing fear.
“Be of good cheer. Do not think of to-day’s failures, but of success that may come to-morrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will have a joy in overcoming obstacles–a delight in climbing rugged paths which you would perhaps never know if you did not sometimes slip backward, if the road were always smooth and pleasant. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.” -Helen Keller
In my role as a Transition Coordinator, I spend my work hours assisting persons with disabilities regain their independence in a community home after leaving institutions. While each person experiences great joy and excitement during this life transition, many also face fears of their own battles and hardships along this journey. Many are afraid to be alone and have fears about their ability to self-manage their own life. For some, this is the first time in their life that they are becoming truly independent.
It is important for each of us to know that this type of fear is not uncommon. Even people who have never spent time in an institution, or who have had many years of living alone, face these fears. It is natural to worry about failures and to stress over choices that we are unfamiliar, but we must remember; the only sure way to fail is when we do not try. You are never alone as long as you have courage, determination, and the will to create the life that you love. Others can help us accomplish our daily needs; but only you can feed your soul.
Be sure to check back next Friday for a new post on what’s happening at PACE.