Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Redefining Disability Project: Post #21


Welcome all. It's Tuesday again. Time to answer another question.Oh, never mind about that. It's a free post day when I can talk about anything I want. {hehehe] Look out world. Here I come.

Today, I'm going to talk about attitude and perception. As if I don't talk about it enough. I feel a lot of healing takes place with the proper outlook. My momma used to tell me "can't never could."No matter what comes down the pike for me, I always remember that.

What did she mean by that? Simply, if you say you can't, you won't. Half the battle of anything in this life is the trial and error to complete a task. If you say you can't you have lost the battle. I gladly used that sage advice with my own children too. But just like my momma, I always gave them an out to hedge against frustration. I told them to make two honest attempts to try to figure it out on their own before coming to me for help. I wouldn't show them all the way, but tempered my help to where they could figure it out on their own. I always lavished praise on them for their critical thinking. This was probably the best lesson I could have taught them. It was for me.

If you look at anything as a pass or failure, you will probably fail at everything and think of yourself as a complete failure at everything you attempt. Where's you backbone? Where's your resolve? If you fail the first time or even the twentieth time, do you give up? Yep you are a failure.

After my back surgery left me wheelchair bound and the doctors were telling me I'd never walk again unassisted. I could have failed and given up. I could have struggled the rest of my life raising five children from that chair. But no, I had resolve enough to not accept their decision or prognosis and keep trying to walk again unassisted. It took me almost three years. If I had given up, I would have failed in my desire to prove them wrong. You aren't a failure at something until you give up.

Okay, with that being said, there are times when you really can't do. It is a physical impossibility like you are blind and short of an eye transplant or a miracle, you will never see again. So do you sit around feeling sorry for yourself? For the rest of your life? I've known a few folks like that. They don't get pity or reinforcement for their bad attitude from me. And, those (caregivers, loved ones, friends, or strangers) that feed  such an attitude isn't doing that person any favors. That person needs a reality check big time. The good Lord help them if it is me.

After my stroke, I could have laid in bed after I came home from the hospital. My family would have let me for the most part. Even my husband, teetering on death's door would have died trying to do for me. I actually had to fight to regain some of my independence. Now, they offer help, but respect me when I say I can do it. Yes, I might struggle with a task. Yes, it might be faster if they did it with their two functioning hands or legs. But, the point is I CAN do.

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll realize that I'm a fighter. I'm also very head strong. I'd rather take the bull by the horn than slip in the piles he leaves behind. Often, it's a stinky, awful mess. I'd rather be proactive in all things. I wasn't always this way, but I'm thankful I am now. I'm much happy in my life.

Happy? You are happy in your life? With all that you have going on? Yep, I am. Not ecstatically happy, but I am content. Things can ALWAYS be worse. I'd rather not go there.

With the right attitude, perception of self, and self worth, I can do anything I want to do within reason. I mean, I won't go sky diving any more, but that was a miniscule part of my life that I really don't want to do again. It's sage wisdom comes with age, why jump out of a perfectly good airplane? I use quantifiers with things I can't do like "yet."  I believe adamantly that I will do that again. That was another thing my momma told me, "There will always be an again." Although, she didn't mean it this way. She meant as a response to the word "never."

To date, I have done things that no one else, ever those who are recovering from a stroke, can believe that I am doing, but I am doing it. It may not be pretty. It may not be the usual way to do it. It may not be the way they do it. BUT it works for me and I am DOing it.



3 comments:

oc1dean said...

Somehow this resilience needs to be created by a stroke protocol. Not everyone knows how to accomplish this. Not sure how I have it.

J.L. Murphey said...

Very true Dean. It's saying to yourself:I am STILL somebody who counts. Repeat it 20 times every day until you believe it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You aren't a failure until you give up - you nailed it!