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Thread: What motivates you to keep fighting...

  1. #1

    What motivates you to keep fighting...

    Undoubtedly this question is not a new one, and I could probably find enough information on the subject to keep me reading for hours if I did a search, but that is not what I want to do. I'm sure that everyone of you has different reasons and motivations and beliefs etc about why they do it, but some things are also probably similar as well. First of all let me stipulate that I am more interested in information from people with SCI's or at least injuries rather than someoe that has a degenerative disease that may have taken many years to evolve. I am just wondering how you came to grips with your condition and how you mange to be upbeat and happy evey day even though you have lost so much. Why do you want to go on when you are a burden on everyone around you and on society as a whole? Or if you do not believe that you are a burden then why do you feel the way that you do. WHat do you contribute that outweighs the additional up keep and expense that you require over a normal AB person? I am not trying to offend anyone here, so please do not think that I am a troll or somethng just trying to piss off a bunch of gimps, cuz I am not. I myself am a gimp and this is really how i feel, so if you just want to flame me then don't bother cuz I'm not interested in a bunch of crap from anyone. I suffered a compound burst fracture to my L1 vertibrae on september 23 2010 and I am just hoping to gain a little insight or something that I may use to help myself feel better about my life in general and possibly even gain a little self respect or motivation to keep on trying. I have a 10 year old daughter that I love to death and that loves me too, and I can not hurt her by just giving up. I would really like to come up with a better reason than just not wanting to hurt someone elses feelings to live by though. SO if anyone has anything that they want to share about themselves and their lives that they think might help motivate me, I am all years and also thankful for anything that helps.

  2. #2
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
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    hi mike. I was where you are at this time last year, which means we are on par because I was injuried about one year before you. It takes a while to get over the burden feeling. As you re-define your self-identity and find new interests in your new body it will get easier.

    As I write this there have been almost 100 views of your message and I am the first to reply. I would encourage you to fill out your user profile for people to view, it will make it easier for people to identify with your situation and share their stories/tips/tricks.

    I don't know where or how old you are. But knowing you have a 10-year-old daughter and an interest in the water ("nautical") is something. You are going to get alot of people telling you "oh you can still drive a boat or a jet-ski or water-ski or go tubing". When I was in your shoes the last thing I wanted to hear is what you "can" or "will be" able to do. Those type of comments for me only added to my feeling of inadequacy. It just takes time man. It's a cliche and sometimes too painful to think about, but just take it one day at a time. Go for strolls with your daughter and count the clouds. Blow some bubbles at the park. Teach her how to play blackjack poker and chess. It's a tough first few years (I'm still there) but I envy you because you have a great little helper (daughter).

    There's a TON of awesome inspirational folks here, some of whom are already wondering about you - check out the list of users that have viewed your profile. Share something with them and they will help.

  3. #3
    Ok I filled out most of the profile questions.

    And you are absolutely right about all of the people saying that I can still do everything that I used to do etc. But I can not do them in the same capacity so just because can still do some things, if I can not do them as well or as easily as before then they are just activities that have been ruined for me by my sci.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
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    that will help. and ignore me once I over-step my bounds, it's my bad habit.

    the next thing I will tell you (imo) is to limit your time here each day. Use it as a resource and an outlet but not the only one you have. For myself I found the more I read on here the more I dwell on my disability. Read positive threads and forums such as the Exercise & Recovery. And always keep in the back of your mind that all of us here with SCI have felt what you have felt. Helping your family do chores and activities will keep your mind in the real world, not just here quantifying your problems with other peoples. Look for the solutions not at the problems.

    I had a great psychologist in rehab who drew a picture of a train. He told me that the engine was my thoughts and the caboose was my feelings. If I can see my engine headed down the right track the caboose has to follow. Eventually.

    so many cliches... but they do have value. I always liked Master Yoda's advice - (something like) be mindful of your feelings, they dictate your future.

    As the world keeps spinning alot of your old interests will not seem so impossible. You are still the same person inside, all the stuff you know about will always be there. Now you'll just have to figure out a way to use it.

    Wise man (user Curt Leatherbee) told me - there are a million things you can't do, but there's still a million things you can do.

    I saw in your profile you ARE (not were) a marine engineer.. in what capacity? Like engines, structure, filling up the fuel tank <j/k>? I know it sucks to talk about the "past life" but the more you do the easier it will be. Sounds cool anyways, I was an auto mechanic (still a gearhead) with past experience as an aircraft structure tech. So if you wanna talk shop give 'er.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tooley View Post


    I saw in your profile you ARE (not were) a marine engineer.. in what capacity? Like engines, structure, filling up the fuel tank <j/k>? I know it sucks to talk about the "past life" but the more you do the easier it will be. Sounds cool anyways, I was an auto mechanic (still a gearhead) with past experience as an aircraft structure tech. So if you wanna talk shop give 'er.
    I was (not am) basically a prodigy at repairing pretty much everything. I worked primarily on tug boats and barges. I was skilled at electrical, hydraulics, pneumatic controls, alarm systems, boilers and boiler controls, piping valves and pumps, winches, hull and deck repairs, engines both gasoline and diesel of all shapes and sizes rom fractional horsepower up through many thousands of horsepower. My customers had likened me to a ship yard. a one man shipyard, because I was very good at repairing evrything commonly found on a tugboat or barge. The only thing I shied away from was the wheelhouse electronics, ie radars, radios, etc. And from time to time in a pinch I would repair those as well. I was basically a technical service rep for anything and everything, because not only have I gained a lot of knowledge through repairing just about everything on a tug or barge, but also because I have an innate ability to figure out things that I have never seen before. I used to be able to walk into a project repairing a piece of equipment that I hafd never seen before and troubleshoot and repair it almost as quickly as someone that specialised on it and that was all they did. I may not have had any knowledge prior to the job, but by the time it was done I knew it inside and out. It probably sounds like I am a narcissist 1or something, but I am not, I was just really good at what I did before my accident. Now that I can not even walk I can not even get onboard a tug boat or barge so I am no longer I am no longer able to peform even the most basic repairs that I used to be very good at before, and as such I am in my own eyes a worthless incomplete man.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by nauticalmike View Post
    I was (not am) basically a prodigy at repairing pretty much everything. I worked primarily on tug boats and barges. I was skilled at electrical, hydraulics, pneumatic controls, alarm systems, boilers and boiler controls, piping valves and pumps, winches, hull and deck repairs, engines both gasoline and diesel of all shapes and sizes rom fractional horsepower up through many thousands of horsepower. My customers had likened me to a ship yard. a one man shipyard, because I was very good at repairing evrything commonly found on a tugboat or barge. The only thing I shied away from was the wheelhouse electronics, ie radars, radios, etc. And from time to time in a pinch I would repair those as well. I was basically a technical service rep for anything and everything, because not only have I gained a lot of knowledge through repairing just about everything on a tug or barge, but also because I have an innate ability to figure out things that I have never seen before. I used to be able to walk into a project repairing a piece of equipment that I hafd never seen before and troubleshoot and repair it almost as quickly as someone that specialised on it and that was all they did. I may not have had any knowledge prior to the job, but by the time it was done I knew it inside and out. It probably sounds like I am a narcissist 1or something, but I am not, I was just really good at what I did before my accident. Now that I can not even walk I can not even get onboard a tug boat or barge so I am no longer I am no longer able to peform even the most basic repairs that I used to be very good at before, and as such I am in my own eyes a worthless incomplete man.
    Mike, you suffered a life altering injury, like most of us on this site -- your last sentence is pure self defeatism. Your second priority right now (after your health and learning to deal with sci), is figuring out how to gain employment again. Not knowing your resources is there a way you can continue and grow your business by hiring help?

    Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.-- Henry Ford



  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 5th Wheel View Post
    Mike, you suffered a life altering injury, like most of us on this site -- your last sentence is pure self defeatism. Your second priority right now (after your health and learning to deal with sci), is figuring out how to gain employment again. Not knowing your resources is there a way you can continue and grow your business by hiring help?

    Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.-- Henry Ford


    No I was forced to close down my business completely because the only reason it was successful to begin with was because of my knowledge experience and abiities. I was unique in that I have never met anyone else that was my equal at so many different types of machinery and equipment. There are lots of people out there that are as good or better than me at some things, but no one that compares on everything.

    I am currently attending classes to be trined as a computer network support specialist, primarily because now that I am unable ot walk I figured that computers is about the only thing that I can do and still be able to compete on an even level with AB's. Which to me is very important. Just because the ADA basically forces employers to give jobs to people with disabilities, for me to have any self esteem at what I am doing, I need to be able to perform any job that I do as well as or better than others doing the same or similar jobs without any additional accomdations. If I do not feel that the work that I am doing is at least as good as eveyone elses work than I should either be paid less or not be doing it at all, and I am not willing to work for less money, so I had beter be very good at anything that I expect to get paid to do.
    Last edited by nauticalmike; 12-28-2011 at 02:51 PM.

  8. #8
    nauticalmike

    i like your call sign because i too spent 10 years working on tug and pilot boats, fixing all electrical Nav equipment from light houses to shore and yacht marina services and lighting however i changed my work practice to a vocational education teacher, i had an electrical plumbing private practice in construction too. i got injured just over a year ago while building my own business premises, this dream is now shattered but on hold not because i am in a chair but out of financial commitments. however i will tell you what i have done and what motivates me to keep fighting on
    my work status has changed from practical work to office and lecturing, till now i'm doing good, i get around in an adapted car, installed a home lift and wheelchair accessible shower and bought a standing frame at home and i guess that's it.
    however i am married with an 11 year old daughter which is the dream of my life, i have become more close to both my immediate and extended family which offer heaps of support as they all live very close. there are moments in which i can be really depressed however infront of family i am not an incomplete man, i'm sure you are too.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by peterf View Post
    nauticalmike

    i like your call sign because i too spent 10 years working on tug and pilot boats, fixing all electrical Nav equipment from light houses to shore and yacht marina services and lighting however i changed my work practice to a vocational education teacher, i had an electrical plumbing private practice in construction too. i got injured just over a year ago while building my own business premises, this dream is now shattered but on hold not because i am in a chair but out of financial commitments. however i will tell you what i have done and what motivates me to keep fighting on
    my work status has changed from practical work to office and lecturing, till now i'm doing good, i get around in an adapted car, installed a home lift and wheelchair accessible shower and bought a standing frame at home and i guess that's it.
    however i am married with an 11 year old daughter which is the dream of my life, i have become more close to both my immediate and extended family which offer heaps of support as they all live very close. there are moments in which i can be really depressed however infront of family i am not an incomplete man, i'm sure you are too.
    SOunds great Peter! I have a 10year old daughter myself, unfortunately my marriage has a lot of problems. We were actually in the process of divorcing when my accident occured, and it has basically just been put on hold for now. I love my wife very much, and she has been doing everything that she can to help me since my injury, but we are seperated and I have no expectations that she will be there for me forever. So realistically if anything my injury has brought us back together a little bit. So from the perspective of not knowing what the future may hold for me and where I might be in say ten years Is unknown. I will most likely be all alone by then becasue I think once my daughter is grown and goes away to college that my wife will no longer want to have anything to do with me. Right now My wife and daughter are the only people that I have in my life, so once they are gone I will be alll alone and now that I am a gimp I do not wnt to be alone anymore. I didn't mind the prospect back when I could do everything for myself by myself, but now it is kind of scary. Even though I am living in my own house alone now and have been for about a year, I feel so me security from knowing that if i have an accident and end up with shit all over the place that I can call them and they might at least help me clean it up a little bit. amd thngs like that. I can and have been taking care of myself for the most part, but sometimes I just become overwhelmed and need a little bit of help, especially like when I get diarrhea. On the few occasions that has happend since my accident I have pretty much just shut down mentally and ended up with a very large pile of soiled linens and towels clothes etc that I need to launder, but following the incident I have become so sad and distrought that I am unable to do anyting for myself. I stoppped eating and bathing and pretty much just slept 22+ hours per day.

    You said " there are moments in which i can be really depressed however infront of family i am not an incomplete man, i'm sure you are too." not sure if this was a typo or what, but I do not understand this.

  10. #10
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    Dear Nauticlmike,
    Damn!!!!
    Someone I truly have something in common with. Q. What keeps me going? A. I'm an asshole.. I can barely walk yet get on a boat, lots of boats, I handle lobster pots with rope going over a 4+ Knots, all 13 of them tied together with ALOT of weight [ocean traps], with a neardeaf80yearoldfather, no lie. first 4 years were hell, started to get around in a walker, cane, and than because of my original answer, I ummm forgot to use the cane. Broke, fell, re-injured everything in sight. I still weld and repair diesels, woodwork, iron work, electrical work, and any thing I can get my hands on, or whatever falls into my lap. Forklifts, refrigeration, I don't stop, because, [insert original answer] I'm the energizer bunny x 2.
    I'm bolted together, fused, and unfortunatly brain injured for life. I've got trouble keeping both eyes together. No one gets along with me, inside or outside of me. Like they say in "Waynes World" Party on Garth, and I do.
    If you don't try to use it you lose it, real fast. I've had to do too many restarts, and there not cool. I've made this work so far, for how much longer I don't know, but I've got to try everything that is available, at least once, even if I revisit again to give it another go. I can walk behind a shopping cart and you would think there is nothing wrong with me, a few steps, a ladder,[insert answer here] and it's quite obvious [answer again], things are not well in camp.
    Best of luck to you.
    Last edited by alhavel; 12-28-2011 at 04:27 PM.

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