How the Andy Griffith Show Helps Me Cope with My Cerebral Palsy (TV Shows as a Coping Mechanism)

There are multiple reasons as to why each of us seeks to watch specific television shows. Television shows can offer us both entertainment and distraction from our everyday lives, which becomes even more important when someone suffers from a chronic illness or has a disability. Television shows can become our escape from the reality of our circumstances, offering us a respite.

Another reason we can enjoy television shows is because of our personal identity; we find shows that reflect something about ourselves or can teach us more about ourselves. Each of us has that one television show that we love, that we could watch any day, no matter our circumstances, that would put a smile on our face. For me, that show is the Andy Griffith show.

My love for The Andy Griffith Show

I first discovered the Andy Griffith show as a child. I would watch it on the TVLAND morning block, and the second I saw Andy and Opie for the first time and heard the fishing pole theme song, I felt like everything was going to be alright, especially when I would watch some of my favourite episodes in the series. One of my favorite episodes is The Pickle Story, during which none of the characters will admit that Aunt Bee’s pickles taste horrible. However, by the end of the episode, Andy and the rest soon decide that honesty is the best policy. This episode makes me smile and laugh, helping me to forget about all my worries and my Cerebral Palsy.

My love for The Andy Griffith Show and How it Distracts Me From my Cerebral Palsy

The Episode that Relates to My Life as a Woman with Cerebral Palsy 

Though I am a fan of the Andy Griffith show as a whole and love all of the episodes, there is a specific episode that I hold close and dear to my heart. It is at the beginning of season 8 and is titled “Opie’s First Love”, where Opie’s date to Arnold’s big birthday party cancels on him at the last minute in order to go to the party with a ‘cooler’ guy.

“Opie’s First Love” hits me close to home because Opie faces rejection, however, he overcomes the obstacle of heartbreak and soon realizes that he was still able to have fun at Arnold’s party. He even gets a new girlfriend.

What This Episode Taught Me:

This episode reminds me whenever I’m having a bad day that there is something positive that can come out of a negative situation. This is especially important on days where my Cerebral Palsy is acting up. I tell myself that when I’m having a bad day, if Opie could make it through his tough time of being stood up while maintaining his kind and sweet personality, then I can make it through the obstacles my disability presents while having to deal with the judgment from society for the things I can’t do, and feeling like I have to prove myself, by remaining true to myself. Ways I do this are through my advocacy work and published literature.

This Taught Me I Can Make It Through the Obstacles My Disability Presents By Remaining True to Myself.

I’m Thankful for The Andy Griffith Show

There is a lot that I could thank The Andy Griffith Show for teaching me. On my most difficult days when I feel down and out, I can always turn on my television and enter the world of Andy Taylor, Opie Taylor, Aunt bee, and Barney Fye. I enjoy finding out what lesson is going to be taught during each episode, and how I can take that and apply it to my every day life as I interact with society as a disabled woman.

Like Andy Griffith once said: “I firmly believe that in every situation, no matter how difficult, God extends grace greater than the hardship, and strength and peace of mind that can lead us to a place higher than where we were before.” This is a quote that I remember every day, as I live my life with grace as a person with a disability.

Tylia Flores is a 24-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination to make a difference in the world. Through her many life challenges and obstacles, she discovered her passion for writing. Tylia’s goal in life is to share her stories with the world.

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