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Thread: TRYING TO COPE

  1. #1
    Junior Member z eater's Avatar
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    TRYING TO COPE

    How many of you wonderful people out there cry everyday? I do. How many wish you were dead? I do. Somebody please tell me how to get past this. Will happiness ever come my way again? How do you live with SCI? I cant stand this and I dont know how much longer I can take it. I think about ending this every miniute of the day. I feel nothing but pain everywhere. Mentally physically you name it, it hurts.I am only a T-8 and most of you are worse off than me how do you cope? I use to consider myself a pretty strong person until this happened.Now I feel weak very weak. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou for listening to me wine in advance.

  2. #2
    Originally posted by z eater:

    How many of you wonderful people out there cry everyday? I do. How many wish you were dead? I do. Somebody please tell me how to get past this. Will happiness ever come my way again? How do you live with SCI? I cant stand this and I dont know how much longer I can take it. I think about ending this every miniute of the day. I feel nothing but pain everywhere. Mentally physically you name it, it hurts.I am only a T-8 and most of you are worse off than me how do you cope? I use to consider myself a pretty strong person until this happened.Now I feel weak very weak. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou for listening to me wine in advance.

    There's nothing wrong with crying. You don't have to feel strong all the time to be strong.

    I received a book of sayings when I was little. One that applies to us is, "What you would seem to be, be really." In other words, if you want to be strong, interested in life, happier, etc., act and be the way you want to be seen. Choose to try hard. Choose to see the joy in being able to use your hands rather than the agony of not being able to walk. Choose to do things you enjoy. Choose to be happy.

    I'm a quad. I can't walk, can't use my hands, can't change the TV channel unless everything is set up just right. I could choose to just lay in my bed, hurt my friends and family, see only ugliness and pain in every day, become bitter and horrible to be around. I face those choices every day, just like you do ... just like everyone does. Look around. Other people have suffered losses. A mother loses her child. A man is told he has cancer. A seven-year-old becomes paralyzed. Few people lead charmed lives without any pain or loss.

    Sometimes, I think, "If I had a choice ..." Here's a thought. Maybe I did have a choice. Maybe, somewhere in the cosmos, fate asked, "Rtr, would you rather (a) be paralyzed or (b) lose a child in a car accident? Would you rather (a) be paralyzed or (b) have a loved one become paralyzed?" I'm sure some family caregivers here would trade places in a heartbeat to save their loved ones.

    What you would seem to be, be really. Make the choice. It's how you choose to live, not just cope.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Hi z eater
    Your injury is very new, not even a year yet if I read your profile right. Many people regain function/sensation up to 2 years after injury, some even longer than that. The first year is awful rough, but you found the right place. Keep focused on what's happening in the sci cure research world, it will give you lots of hope. I've been injured for almost 16 years now, and my hope has never been stronger.

    Keep busy, love your loved ones and friends and let them know you do, and keep communicating with others. I sincerely believe that you won't be in that wheel chair forever, the cure is near. You might check into sci trials that are starting up soon, see if you can enroll in one. But the most important thing is keep your mind busy, and stay healthy. And never lose hope. Also, volunteering to help others less fortunate might help you feel better, it did/does for me. Take care
    -Bob

    Remember that all we need is 10% of our spinal cords to work to regain what we lost, due to the plasticity of the spinal cord. Help bring a cure to yourself and to all of us by donating time, money, ideas, etc. It will also not give you time to dwell on your injury. Check out the cure forum, there is a grass roots cure fundraising organization forming as we type. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Hey,
    SCI is a hell of a condition. Not a day goes by that I don't hate all the stuff I have to deal with. I feel angry that my life was stolen from me, and replaced with this. I'm sad that I can't do everything I want to do. You have every right to cry. But please, stick around.
    If you give up SCI wins, you can outlive this! It's hard to do, but you can. Find something to do that you enjoy, stay busy, spend time with your family, be as independent as you can and eventually the day will come when SCI is cured.
    And find people to talk to, we're all here for you.

  5. #5

    Z eater

    I certainly cannot improve on the advice you will get here from other people living with SCI every day, but I know from working in this field that the first year is very difficult for most people.

    Is there someone you can talk to on a regular basis about your feelings? This can be a counselor (social worker, psychologist), a pastor, or an experienced SCI peer. It is better if it is not just a family member, as family members are also going through a difficult adjustment during this time and may not have the energy to help you too.

    In addition, if you are depressed, there is no shame in using anti-depressant medications temporarily to help you get through this difficult time. Meds alone though are not sufficient for most people. You also need to combine this with some talking therapy.

    Please don't give up on us. Look at your life and find things that can give it meaning again. Look at the things you would have missed if you had died in your accident instead...the family wedding or birth, the graduation, the spring and summer flowers, etc. etc.

    Getting involved in volunteer activities is often a good way to help you refocus outside of your own concerns, and is also a great way to meet new friends and people to talk with about your feelings.

    Keep on posting on this board too. This is a wonderful resource and source of support.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    I don't cry, but I do wish I was dead. Chronic, severe pain does that to a person, and they don't even have to be disabled on top of it to feel that way. Hopefully, things will get better for you with time.

  7. #7

    Read these links

    Handicapped Buddhism
    http://members.aol.com/harvestctr/buddha.html

    Interview with Stephen Levine: Suicide Isn't Painless
    http://www.salon.com/june97/levine970602.html

  8. #8
    I believe that if I had not had the chance of seeing a quad dealing with an emergency, I would not have realized how much I still had left. During the first years I found myself in so much depression that the thought of suicide did cross my mind several occassions. I cried like you, only thing was that my tears were shed in my heart for my loss. I didn't want my parents to see me cry. The situation we lived in was really bad for my parents and myself. They were poor, immigrants without any schooling. My dad was in his late sixties (I was an unexpected late in life baby). Times had been hard before my injury, but with the added event in my life, it became worse.

    There was no financial help for dis at the time. Nothing at all like what we have now. It had happened while I was still in school. My dreams to be the first one to graduate in my family were gone. All these things added to my feelings of giving up and dying. The phrase of "having the rug pulled out from under my feet" fitted me to a T. I felt so lost and didn't know how to deal with everything we faced.

    To make a long story short, the state paid for me to have surgery for the harrington rods to stop the scoliosis. Or at least to alleviate it. They sent me to TIRR who at the time was the only place who did that type of surgery. While I was there, one of my roommates was a young 15 yr old quad. She had had a bout with polio and had to be in what we called the "iron lung". She had the sweetest disposition I had ever seen.

    This was in the months of Fall when hurricanes become a problem in many coastal cities. We had been warned of one approaching towards the Galveston area. Houston is close to that area. The weather changed into something entirely different. Dark, purple clouds covered the sky. Winds blew so hard that they knocked down large trees. Electricity went out. My roommates "lung" stopped functioning. She was unable to breathe at all on her own. The alarm rang and nurses ran to get her on another type of breathing apparatus. All I was seeing really shook me up. The electricity was finally brought back on and her lung started back on. Throughtout all this she had remained so calm and never complained at all. I became so angry at myself. I realized how much I had going for me and here I had been feeling sorry for myself.

    Going back to that incident in my mind and looking at what has happened to me in my life after that day, I am happy to still be alive. Thankful for the things I have gotten to see and rejoice in. Like KLD said, we don't know what we would miss if we were to die before our time.

    Yes, the first year or two the hardest, but the best is yet to come if you just hang in there.

    Sorry for the long post. I am only trying to help you to see how much you still have left and that life or living does not always end with SCI. Hopefully, we may one day soon be walking again.

    E me if you ever want to talk.

    Raven

  9. #9
    Member ptamom's Avatar
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    Dear z eater,

    Hang in there! The days will start to get better. Things will start to get easier. You will find yourself again. You will even like yourself again. Someday you will wake up and get out of bed and realize that you did not have to think about it...it just happened. Pain is very difficult to deal with, but there are a lot of different treatments available to try. It is true that some people do not get relief from these treatments, but most do. Hopefully you will be one that does.
    I am an L1 para, 13 years post. I used to have thoughts like these, but held on for better times, and they did come. I still have times when I feel sorry for myself, and I figure that I am entitled to them. They always pass, and am not overwhelmed by them anymore.
    Distraction works well. Is there something in your life that you really enjoy doing? Maybe try something new. Sports help immensely with self esteem. I don't have any team sports where I am, but I enjoy swimming (snorkelling is the best!!), wheeling around the track at the gym, and I am in the process of getting a bike. Get out, and go to the museum or art gallery...even just go for a coffee with a friend at the mall.
    Life still has so much good stuff to offer. Are you married? Do you have kids? If not yet, these are some of the best things in life. They are worth waiting for. If you are married and/or have kids, these people still need you, and want you near them.
    You have many friends here who are happy to get to know you, and help you through some of the obstacles that you will likely encounter, so you don't have to feel alone.
    Hugs to you,
    ptamom

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    It will get better z eater. I used to cry every day but you learn to see the good things in life as it gets easier. I used to get pain so bad in the early days I used to scream at my dad that I wanted to die but he said think of the times when you are happy, when you listen to a good song, see a good friend or eat some good food and it makes it all worth while. Slowly the mental and physical pain became less and I saw the world in a different light. You will too, i promise!
    Hang in there x

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