About the Author: Cristie Grey is an amputee, mother, and passionate disability advocate. She shares her disability journey through her platform on instagram and youtube, spreading awareness to thousands. She talks about everything related to disability and mom life! To see more from Cristie check out her instagram here and her youtube here.
My name is Cristie Grey, and I am an amputee. I have a right below the elbow amputation that was caused from a boating incident. Becoming an amputee has changed my life in so many ways. I had to learn how to navigate the challenges of everyday life including getting dressed that I once took for granted. Those things like putting on ear rings, bracelets, and necklaces suddenly became something that took some thought and more effort to accomplish. Patience.. I discovered what patience was that’s for sure! I have learned to do things one handed first, so I could be independent, and then chose to look for alternative ways to get it done as easily as possible. So an example would be that I have learned how to tie my shoes, but instead I wear shoes with zippers because I find them to be easier. If I ever had to tie shoestrings well, I know how to.
I have learned so many things from losing my hand with one of them being so clinch’e. It is to not take things for granted. You never know what you truly have until it’s gone, but the biggest thing I have learned is that it’s okay to be different! I tried for so many years to fit in the mold before realizing my mold is so unique, and it makes me truly beautiful inside and out!
I decided to tell my unique life when two wonderful ladies from work said that I could help people by telling my story, so I gathered the courage to put it on video, and after I posted it I began to receive multiple motivating comments. Those people and those comments gave me fuel to keep going, and to keep telling!
I believe it is important to spread disability awareness because knowledge is power, and I try to talk about my disability, and show people what it’s like everyday whether, that be at my workplace at a school, or in public at the grocery store! The more someone knows about someone with a disability, what the disability is, and how it affects the disabled, as well as the caretakers, the more power we have to change people’s false perceptions. Whatever they may be.
I have taken on several roles in my life, and one of them is that I am a mother. Being a parent and only having one hand, and being partially blind created some insecurities about whether or not I could be a good parent, and take care of my children. Although it wasn’t and is not easy I have really been able to be a great parent!
Something that I wish people knew about me is that I do suffer from anxiety, but my mental health is a top priority, so I take measures to keep it top notch by seeking help when necessary!
I hope those that visit my platform take with them that wherever they are in their journey whether a temporary, old or newly disabled person, I want them to know those small accomplishments like doing the laundry to the big ones like getting a new job that those are all special parts of their journey, and those parts are helping them grow. Know that you are indeed special. Own it!
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