104. Owning Your Truth and Living Authentically

Hello and welcome to my podcast, The Wellness Project with Des. On today’s episode, I speak with Paul Forchione about being born with cerebral palsy. 

I’m Desiree, a Mental Health Therapist that is passionate about helping people improve their mental health and live a healthy and fulfilled life. One way I do this is by interviewing experts in the field of mental health and wellness as well as those that have struggled with their mental health but have gained control over it and now live fulfilling lives. In this episode, we will hear from Paul about the challenges he had to overcome in his life due to his Cerebral Palsy. 

Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that affects a person’s ability to move. When Paul was born, he couldn’t move the entire right side of his body. Doctors told his mother that he would never be able to walk and would need a wheel chair. Heart-broken but determined, his mother didn’t stop until she found a physician willing to help. 

The 5th doctor Paul’s mother sought out finally gave her a different opinion. Paul was put into physical therapy 5-6 times a week and he started walking between the ages of 2-3 years old which was an incredible feat. And then when he was around 6 years old, Paul had a life-changing surgery on his foot that helped him to walk better. 

Due to his parents getting divorced, Paul had to switch schools when he was 12 years old. He was bullied by the kids at his new school for walking with a limp and for holding his arm a little differently. He would cry himself to sleep every night wondering why he couldn’t be like everyone else. Paul explains that he felt sad and angry all the time but he still had a lot of goals and dreams for himself. He wanted to make the varsity baseball team in high school but he didn’t tell anyone out of fear they would put him down or tell him he couldn’t do it. 

One day while Paul was practicing, a coach asked him if he has any goals for baseball. He said “no” out of fear. His coach continued to ask and finally one day Paul told the coach that he wanted to make the varsity baseball team. What his coach said next was simple yet profound- “that’s doable.” Finally, someone believed in Paul and his ability to achieve his goals. 

Later in life, Paul wanted to get into life coaching but he wanted to hide his truth. He wanted to hide that he had cerebral palsy. He tried his best to hide it but he wasn’t getting any clients. He wasn’t reaching anyone. Paul realized he had to own his truth, get vulnerable and tell his story. He learned to embrace his story and became a successful life coach. 

Listen to Paul’s inspiring story to hear how he learned to accept himself, love himself, and live his truth. 

Listen here:

Where to find Paul:

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