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Thread: Am I emotionally disconnected (i.e., why am I so damn happy)?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Zeus's Avatar
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    Am I emotionally disconnected (i.e., why am I so damn happy)?

    I don't mean this thread to sound like I'm gloating or that 'I have all the answers'. I just wonder if anybody else feels the way I do.

    A bit of background for those who don't know me. I became a complete C5/C6 quad at age 7. Over the last 24 years (I'm 31 now) life has certainly been a struggle. After my SCI I went back to the school I had been at and thrived - God bless those nuns, they really did love their students. I had so much love and attention from my family and friends, especially in those early days, that I barely knew what to do with it all.

    My first 'big' emotional test came at 18. I needed two large operations to correct my scoliosis and went into surgery exactly one week after my Higher School Certificate exams (like SATs or university entrance exams). I knew these operations were BIG. For example, in the first my right lung was temporarily deflated and 'lifted' out of its cavity to make room for the fusion at the front of my spine. The plan was to recover over summer and attend university 3 months later.

    Here's the thing, a tiny part of me was worried during my HSC about the impending operations (one ended up being 9 hours long, the second was only 5). Would I survive? Would there be complications? What if I was working my butt off for nothing? But for the most part, I could just easily shut those thoughts out. I ended up doing well enough to be accepted into the most prestigious law school in Australia.

    In recent years I've noticed that little seems to phase me. Two of my grandparents died (they both lived with us and co-raised my sister and I) and within a few days I was over the grief. They were old and had a good life, right?

    The truth is in 24 years of SCI I've never known what depression is. In fact, I'm so damn chirpy I sometimes annoy myself. Sure I get sad - I certainly am an emotional being - but I seem to bounce back with incredible resilience and am one of those 'eternal optimists' that generally grate people's nerves.

    The closest I've ever come to depression is the odd day I feel 'fatigued by life'. There are days where I feel like: "if I found out today I'm terminally ill, would I just be relieved the struggle's over?" But again, these days are rare and I bounce back like that bloody Duracell bunny.

    In the past few months, especially on these boards, I've seen people I respect and admire say things that remind me most, especially following a traumatic and life changing SCI, struggle with depression. So after all of this - here's my question.

    Am I unique? Am I normal? Am I emotionally disconnected from the real me? Are there others in SCI-land who feel the same way? Do I have wicked coping skills, or do I live in denial? I guess I'm just interested in the thoughts of others.

    Chris.
    Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist wrapped in blood! Larry in 'Closer', a play by Partick Marber

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by cspanos
    Am I unique? Am I normal? Am I emotionally disconnected from the real me? Are there others in SCI-land who feel the same way? Do I have wicked coping skills, or do I live in denial? I guess I'm just interested in the thoughts of others.

    Chris.
    You're certainly unique. But emotionally disconnected? I don't think so. I think you just see things from a different perspective. You may have less emotional and mental demons that haunt you and thus you approach your severe physical demon with more agility and resilience.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Landon's Avatar
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    Span da man

    I totally feel like you my friend. Yeah the beginning was f'in hard, but I learned to deal very fast. I'd say my coping skills are due to the fact that I have very supporting friends and family, and I hang out with fellow quads playing rugby weekly. I've never been medicated for depression in my life and find it crazy that so many people rely on this to function, but whatever. I guess I'm just easily adaptable to situations of change. Life is what you make of it and I'm not putting it on hold because of SCI. But when our day comes I'll be first in line to unzip my oh-so-lovely neck scar.

    spanos, btw its the energizer bunny
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies...


  4. #4
    If your happy and ya know it clap your hands! ..I wont bother with stomp your feet..

    Dont ask why man,just back away slowly.. Ive always kinda figured emotions are like a house of cards (or other easily toppled stack o something) Once its where ya want it to be,stop messin and straightening out the edges,youve done at alot you should be very proud of,your gonna be a success,your gonna do great things man..so now take your smile and just back away from the cards..

  5. #5
    Senior Member jukespin's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun
    If your happy and ya know it clap your hands! ..I wont bother with stomp your feet..

    Dont ask why man,just back away slowly.. Ive always kinda figured emotions are like a house of cards (or other easily toppled stack o something) Once its where ya want it to be,stop messin and straightening out the edges,youve done at alot you should be very proud of,your gonna be a success,your gonna do great things man..so now take your smile and just back away from the cards..
    That was insightful, witty and wise, Shaun. So good in fact that I'm not going to say what poped into my head directly after.
    "Sometimes I just sets and thinks...
    and sometimes I just sets.
    "

    Otis Redding I think

  6. #6
    when you deal w injury so long, it just becomes second nature.
    sink or swim cspanos. kudos, you obviously "swim".

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Lizbv
    sink or swim cspanos. kudos, you obviously "swim".
    Like a man made o cork

  8. #8
    Senior Member Zeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun
    Like a man made o cork
    Maybe I can challenge Fuentes for the title of superest-quad. But I bet his ball-sack is prettier than mine.
    Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist wrapped in blood! Larry in 'Closer', a play by Partick Marber

  9. #9
    I think it's all in the coping. Accepting the situation, what we did, what we do... put your head down and move forward. We've all seen what Death looks like, more than most even.

    To being chill.

    *raises glass*

    Cheers!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by cspanos
    Maybe I can challenge Fuentes for the title of superest-quad. But I bet his ball-sack is prettier than mine.
    lol, perhaps.
    hey, fuente only lives 40 min from Jack. report?
    "hey jaaaackkkkkkkkkkk......................can u do us a favor"?

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