Clodagh Mangan, MTU
Clodagh Mangan, Student on the BA in Social Care at MTU, Kerry Campus
Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.
My name is Clodagh Mangan, I am 23 years old and live in Ballymacelligott in Tralee Co. Kerry. I was born with Cerebral Palsy and as a result I use an electric wheelchair. I am an only child and have always felt very fortunate for my wonderful supportive family. My parents Pat and Siobhan spoilt me with love and never gave up on me even when they were told I may never talk and may have intellectual difficulties. This is where my resilience journey began as from the beginning I had to learn to adapt and to build my resilience in the face of adversity.
I was blessed with a very supportive extended family and incredibly resilient gran parents, Pat and Mary, who live nearby. They supported and encouraged me from the day I was born. I have many aunts and uncles and they all treated me as an autonomous human being. Their sense of humour and encouragement strengthened me throughout a very challenging childhood. I was exposed to wonderful resilient role models throughout my early life and this enabled me to grow and build on my personal resilience, though sometimes this made me extremely stubborn and determined not to give up on myself.
From primary school to third level, I really encountered superb people who supported me all the way. It was not until I entered third level education that I became even more self-aware that this resilience enabled me to ask for help.
I discovered many strengths when dealing with everyday college life. This understanding enabled me to focus on my goal.
“Resilience is not a thing we get a little bit of when we are born, resilience is a muscle and we build on it, we build it in ourselves and we build it in each other. It's about how we quickly recover and rebound from the worst events in life.”
At this stage in my education with graduation in sight I believe that I am more resilient now than I have ever been. Over the past three years I have built on my resilience and it has prepared me for the next stage of my life.
I am looking forward to graduating and then taking a year out to relax before embarking on my next academic goal. My intention is to become a counsellor, specializing in supporting people with disabilities, guiding and enabling my clients to reach their potential.
I know that no matter what life puts in my path I will not only survive but I will thrive.