Today while I was working out, a peripheral friend of mine began teasing me as I did alternating elbow extensions with four-pound weights, a movement that appears a bit silly to be sure, but is essential to my arm fully extending. So I lightly replied, “Don’t make fun of my therapy.”
Since this site is mainly geared toward those who acquire disability rather than people “born into it,” I sort of feel like this is a relevant topic to discuss because sure, there must be a sadly high number of people who acquire disability that go through very real, very painful emotions of depression and hopelessness when it happens to them and they have a very immediate ability to appreciate how much they’ve lost.
The feelings of sadness in comparison to who we used to be and what we used to be able to do are certainly normal — and to a certain extent, probably healthy, too. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t occasionally feel them. But to let those feelings take over your resolve to fight for your life? That’s neither healthy nor wise.
Why do I say “fight for your life”? Because life is fundamentally based on a very simple, very important thing: hope. When a human being loses all hope, he ceases to live. It is truly the power of hope, hope in a better reality, that keeps us all afloat. Even if there’s nothing apparently “wrong” with our current realities, there is still a hope for something better, something greater — it is a trait unique to humans, that desire to learn, grow, improve, and realize our potential. Not just to inhibit the earth, reproduce, and be done with it. We’re in constant search for something better (a characteristic the advertising industry shamelessly feasts upon); such is the nature of human life.
Hope works hand-in-hand with strength, and people who go through an experience like this need an abundance of it. This type of strength is the kind you don’t even know you have, because it’s just like courage: you don’t have it till you need it. Without them? Your life is over.
When you take life into your own hands and follow your hope and strength to lead your path to rehab, the impossible can happen. After all, you’ll never know what you’re capable of accomplishing if you don’t try.