To feel our ills is one thing, but to cure them is another. – Ovid
In writing this blog, I have used the words ‘cure’ ‘therapy’ ‘rehabilitation’ and ‘process’ interchangeably. I have been advised against using the word cure even though curing myself is my ultimate goal and primary intention. I have tried to be politically correct, unobtrusive, inoffensive, sensitive, and mindful, using other words to describe this journey I am on. I have been writing this blog since March but I have been writing about this entire journey since I started it in late 2007, and – in that writing – I have freely used the word cure and found it hopeful and empowering.
Through writing this blog, I realize that I associate the word ‘rehabilitation’ with the word ‘rehab.’ I associate the word rehab with treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction. I suppose that my intentions are somewhat similar: working hard with a prescribed program, the support of professionals, and the best intentions to overcome a limiting and debilitating predicament. Ridding my body of every trace of my disability is like a quest to ‘get clean’ of it.
The word ‘rehabilitation’ is defined in the dictionary as restoring someone to health and a normal life through training and therapy. This is, in essence, the goal, but I am not working to restore a life I once had. I am working to create a life – and a body – that I have never had and never known. The word cure is different in that its focus lies in not only healing the body, but eliminating disease from it entirely. I understand that this might never happen for me – even if I work every day for the rest of my life – but I believe in the possibility of a cure.
I plan to use the word cure from hereon in rather than euphemistically calling it other things. I did not start this blog to draw attention to my personal life, but to inform people with cerebral palsy of the different available treatments and practices that they can use to cure themselves as I work to. I think that shifting my lexical choices will further empower me to believe in my work and my intentions. I normally tell people that I work to overcome my impairment – and tell them that I am writing about overcoming my impairment – but I think it will strengthen me to say I am curing myself and I have already begun to cure myself. I understand that people will disagree with me, disbelieve me, and discourage me, but I will use the criticism and contempt to – eventually – grow even stronger.
The other day, someone fairly close to me described me as ‘amazingly determined.’ I think she’s correct, and I think that using the word cure – speaking it into existence and fully believing in it – will make me even more determined. And amazing.