|03-23-2012, 12:35 AM||#1|
I haven't been very active on cc anymore but I wanted to share with you how I found happiness in hopes some of you can also reach this level in life sometime.
It all started on carecure, my mom knew I was in bad shape and had no desire to live anymore so she found this website for me which helped a ton. Reading other peoples struggles made me realize my life wasn't that horrid and it also helped answer any questions I had about life in the chair/recovery. It also was a great place to share my stories.
At first I would never accept the wheelchair although I don't think my body was ready for crutches, I forced it in hopes of forcing my body to adapt (which didn't happen) but instead started destroying parts of my body.
This made life extremely difficult and everyday was a struggle but really increased my penitence. Dropping something on the floor, kicking it around with the crutches, sitting down and picking it up as an example. Cleaning a room took 6 hours, etc. I did this for 3 years and then attend project walk which opened my eyes that I need to use the wheelchair if I want to live.
Once I accepted the wheelchair my life became extremely more pleasant although I wasn't happy. In fact for years I wasn't happy although I played a good actor. I would live my happiness through other people but I never had joy that came from inside myself. If I was with someone and they were smiling and laughing I thought to myself this is happiness I guess.
I also live with 24/7 chronic pain. It feels as if I'm sitting on broken glass that happens to be on fire. One day when I was depressed I stopped all my pain meds and bowl meds. I wanted to see how much pain my body could throw at me and I realized its only pain, I'm not dying. I've managed to deal with this feeling as if I was born with this pain. I realized pain is like pleasure, its just a feeling. If I was really sitting on broken glass then I would have to be worried about this feeling but the fact is I'm not so why fret over it. Embrace the pain, its your life.
My journey started once I moved to northern California, found new friends, and started a new life.
I had my first real laugh about 3 years ago and ever since then my life changed.
I'm going to just throw out random things I've discovered on this journey to happiness (note I realize not everyone can do these things depending on your circumstances but pick and choose) :
I realized that no one really cared about the wheelchair, this is my life, there is no point in comparing this life to my past life as my past is a distant memory of who I was, not who I am now.
Regret nothing, having regret in your mind makes no sense and adds nothing positive to your life, ever.
Live for the moment, don't stress over the future too much (unless you have kids.)
Don't try to find happiness in someone else. Everything is temporary, your job, money, your g/f, wife, etc. The only thing that will be with you till your death is yourself.
Realize this is the only life you have, live it before its gone.
Life is a struggle, it might have been easy before but that is now gone, get use this new life and forget about what you thought life should have been.
Clear your mind of all negative things, why keep anything negative in your mind? It literally makes no sense to have these thoughts cluttering up your brain.
Get uncomfortable, put yourself in situations that you think you may not like, its quite exciting and a change from the norm.
Love your body even if the outside is a shadow of what it use to be. Your brain is what counts.
Find an activity you enjoy that doesn't have to be shared with anyone but yourself.
Look at yourself in the mirror, stare at it for along time and realize who you are. You aren't just a robot unless you want to be one.
If you can try to be independent as possible, don't depend on anyone if you can help it. Breaking free from depending on people is very satisfying. Again some people don't have this choice.
Explore yourself, your brain is absolutely amazing, you should never be bored.
Keep learning, you have the internet. Check out websites like www.ted.com to find something you may find interest in and explore it.
Make yourself feel important. Get a job, go back to school, make yourself feel that you are doing something with your life, just don't sit around.
You need struggle/pain to really enjoy the high moments.
The main thing I've noticed though is clearing your mind of negativity. When I say I'm happy it doesn't mean I'm laughing all the time or yelling to the skys I LOVE YOU! Its more of a clear feeling. My mind is very calm, if something bad happens to me it simply washes over me and its gone. Once you reach this level nothing can take your happiness away. I also find joy in the simplest of things, such as the smell of fresh air, grass, the sound of wind chimes, feeling the sunshine on my face, etc.
I've also discovered not many people are happy in general so its not just people in wheelchairs. All my friends stress over things that shouldn't be stressed over. I have a friend who has everything and literally nothing bad has happened to this man in his life (he admitted it) and isn't happy.
Goodluck and thanks all for helping me get to this point in my life.
C7/C8, T1 incomplete;
For stalkers convenience:
Last edited by mr_coffee; 03-23-2012 at 03:01 AM.
|03-23-2012, 01:36 AM||#2|
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Davis Ca
Hi Cory, after 32 years of being a T-8 complete, I can relate to more than a few things you found. I'll just add keep yourself as healthy as possible, I read somewhere after a sci our life's work is taking care of our bodies.
|03-23-2012, 02:13 AM||#4|
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
you are wise beyond your years, I've always looked up to you since finding this place and you have helped countless people here pull our heads out of our asses.
Sincerely, thank you. I'd have been so lost without super-quads like you.
|03-23-2012, 02:31 AM||#5|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Rock on, Cory!
These are my favorite parts of your post...
|03-23-2012, 04:38 AM||#7|
Puff, puff, pass.
Travel Cory! While you're still young enough and have the funds to! Save for your future because these disabled bodies seem to go 'kaput' a lil faster than the regular population. Ask yourself if you'll make it to retirement with enough to last for years of living afterwards.
That's my advice. Explore the world while you still can!
I think over again my small adventures,
Those small ones that seemed so big,
For all the vital things
I had to get and to reach;
And yet there is only one great thing,
The only thing,
To live to see the great day that dawns
And the light that fills the world.
Anonymous (Inuit, 19th century)
T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12
|03-23-2012, 07:10 AM||#8|
You truly make me smile.
Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart
I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.
|03-23-2012, 07:35 AM||#10|
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida Keys
In the meantime, I think I'll get a goldfish. I'll call him Fred.
"We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.
"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe
"Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg
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