Disclaimer: It is not my intention to upset or anger anyone from this post.
- My old thought processes: ‘I would totally pull this roller..if only I could walk’ (violins, sad music playing).
- Reality: Me before my injury: 'There is no way I would be able to pull this pitch roller..actually why would I want to?
After my spinal injury, my first words were 'I WILL walk again'. This was met with pity from many people. Despite outwardly 'moving on' by studying, getting a job etc, for 8 years I was totally focused on walking again. I lobbied for stem cell research, I helped raise money for 'a cure'. I lived and breathed the rhetoric that I was not 'normal', would never be 'normal'. To me, my life wasn't worth living if I would have to use a wheelchair for the rest of my life.
Then I met some people who challenged me to think that perhaps walking again wasn’t my end goal, perhaps living was - not constantly dreaming about ‘the cure’ and how much better it would make my life. I admit though, letting go of that thought process was hard, but focussing on what I did have was a relief – could I be ok AND be paralysed?
I see so many people with this injury who have put their lives on hold for 'the cure' and that saddens me, because I spent so much time doing that, time I could have been enjoying my life, being grateful for what I have, and for being alive, instead of hating my body and hating my wheelchair.
Don’t get me wrong, I'm certainly not against a 'cure for paralysis', I support anyone actively trying to help and it would be an amazing day if that were to happen, but I'm also ok if it doesn't happen because I've chosen to accept myself as I am, and by doing so, I feel more at peace with my body.
I may not be ‘normal’, but that’s ok, the world has plenty of ‘normal’ people… being ‘normal’ is not my goal anymore. Now extraordinary, there’s an interesting goal, people who have been through trauma have a message to tell, our message of hope, endurance, grief, loss, rage, adaptability and compassion on a scale not often seen… now that’s something to focus on, that’s something we need to share with the world.
www.freemansblog.net for more.
#hope #movingon #love #sci