What is the best way of dealing with the hardship of special needs?

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Answered by: Matthew, An Expert in the Coping With Special Needs Category
No matter who you are, no matter what your education level or your family history, dealing with the hardship of living with special needs is a challenge to everyone. There are so many people and groups out there who want to give you the answers.

And maybe that's what you want to, for someone to give you the answer, as if it can be delivered on a silver platter. But it can't. Living with special needs creates unique feelings within all of us, feelings that cannot be easily explained and certainly not easily solved or dismissed. And the hardships can take so many forms. It can certainly be emotional and physical, but it's also often financial and spiritual.

So our only real option is to look within ourselves for the answers on how to deal with it.

Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you to go to your "happy place" or to go meditate on a mountaintop for hours a day. Instead, just take a survey of your life right now. Identify the things that already help you find peace and comfort with your situation. Identify the things when you truly see the rewards of dealing with the hardship, of working through it rather than working against it.

We all have those moments even if they are only short lived. It may come at the beginning of the day, right when you wake up and realize what a blessing it is for you to be in the life of someone with special needs. Or maybe it's the opposite, you realize what a remarkable person you are for what you do. You are unique and special and no one else can replace you.

If we take those moments and take the time to analyze them, study them, we will almost certainly find a common link. For some, that link can be given the name Jesus or God. For other people, that link is family and friends. Still others find hope in their own past, realizing how living with special needs helps them to overcome fears and doubts that they've lived with most of their lives. No one can tell you the right path.

And no one can tell you that your feelings or choices are right or wrong. What you are experiencing is precise, it's calculated for you and only you. In whatever great or limited way we can see it, we were meant to have the exact experience and emotions that we are living with, right here, right now.

And having a revelation or an epiphany isn't going to help us either. No self-help book or seminar series has ever solved our problems for us. The only real solutions have to come from within because it's the only way that they'll truly last. Our external circumstances will come and they will go. Sometimes even very abruptly. But if we can find that true grounding force in our lives, then those circumstances will cease to hold us hostage. We'll be able to take control of the pain and the pressure and the hardship, no matter what form it takes.

Everyone deals with hardship in their lives. Our family, our friends, our neighbors. We may not see it the way we see our own hardship, or it may take a form that we think we can deal with better than special needs, but it's there. That's how the world works. The world provides us the gift of hardship. It must be, otherwise why would everyone have to deal with it? The sooner we can truly come to terms with that reality, the sooner we can begin our process of introspection and transformation of the hardship into blessings and appreciation.

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