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Grateful for being differently abled

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    Grateful for being differently abled

    I read some folks here and elsewhere who seem very bitter and resentful. I guess having 12 step program that tells me that if I’m still breathing and conscious I’ll probably be ok has a lot to do with my attitude.

    In recovery we talk about keeping a state of gratitude and looking for similarities and not differences. Believe it or not I’m grateful for my physical differences. By ditching or having to ditch a lot of the internally and externally imposed expectations, I’ve liberated myself to be able to explore a lot of interests and personality quirks.

    If you saw me now, you see a shaved, earring and septum ring, jazz dot wearing muscle freak, a far cry from the insecure conformist I was a few years ago. Ive gone from a loose fitting shapeless stuff to a skin tight exhibitionist, shopping for my first tattoos. I’m wanting “Bruder” across my traps and speed flames on my forearms. My best buddies are powerlifters and bodybuilders and triathletes, all clean and sober and just this side of wacked.

    I’m no longer focused on how many toys I have as much as what my quality of life is and taking care of myself and my relationships.

    I relish change and growth.

    Anyone else feel this way?

    Cheers

    Brock

    #2
    Interesting.....

    ...wouldn't you rather be a clean, sober muscle freak able to take part in triathlons with your best buddies?

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      #3
      Yep and thats what I'm planning on doing! I have a new racing chair on the way and going to a wheeler sports boot camp next weekend.

      USAT has PC (Physically Challenged) classifications that allows for the use of racing chairs, prosthetics and handcycles.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by cavemuscle View Post
        I read some folks here and elsewhere who seem very bitter and resentful. I guess having 12 step program that tells me that if I’m still breathing and conscious I’ll probably be ok has a lot to do with my attitude.
        Differently abled or however you want to spin it, it will all amount to the same - a disability robs you of certain capabilities that you once had, or, if you were born disabled, that the majority of the population has. Your situation is unique to you and the same goes for each of the 'bitter and resentful' folks you speak of. You are in your fifties. you walk and, if I understand correctly, don't suffer from spinal cord injury but a degenerative disc problem you inherited in the womb right? You weren't plucked from a life of freedom and carefree living, so I am guessing your opinions are nearly always going to differ from say, a twentysomething who has gone from exactly that to being told within a split second that they will not walk again. There are people here whose marriages and relationships have broken down, have lost friends by choice and/or suicide, are holed up in old people's homes before hitting middle age, are up to their eyeball's in debt, suffer from hugely debilitating neuropathic pain, cannot breathe unassisted, have no family or support to speak of - the list goes on and all as a direct result of becoming paralysed. Honestly, how can anyone stand there and judge? None of us have any clue how we would feel or act in anyone else's shoes. I've personally lost 7 friends to SCI now, all in differing ways but all going before their time and, not limited to that fact, would rather die than proclaim that being crippled is almost something one should be envious of!

        If anything, many here seem to fall in more with your line of thinking, which would mean that you are therefore questioning why the rest wouldn't agree with you also. I honestly think it's nuts that anyone wouldn't be able to appreciate why a lot of people would be in turmoil after such a horrific life change. If they honestly can't, that person needs to try exercising a little compassion. It would also suggest they probably don't fully understand the implications of a SCI and again, how could they? Every single case is completely unique. As it is, nowhere near enough people are making noise about the indignitites, inconvenience, pain and anguish associated with SCI.

        You're not just expressing an opinion here, you are doing it in a way that judges people who are dealing with a terrible injury. Honestly, I cannot wait until treatments start coming down the line so that these kind of threads can become moot! Luckily, those who feel disability enriches their life and that the remainder of those injured are bitter will be more than welcome to opt out and exist in bliss with their inabilities!
        Last edited by Cherry; 19 Jan 2009, 7:58 AM. Reason: Duplicated word

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          #5
          there is certainly something to be said for the making the best of whatever you encounter within each moment. a cure, is not what most people will be required to face...at least not today.

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            #6
            ...as for 'differently abled'...lol

            you can have a positive attitude and still own the fact that something is screwed. after all, it's true for dang near every living human. like beautiful people who are social clods, they aren't 'differently abled'...
            Last edited by kan5a5; 20 Jan 2009, 1:52 AM.

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              #7
              Originally posted by kan5a5 View Post
              there is certainly something to be said for the making the best of whatever you encounter within each moment. a cure, is not what most people will be required to face...at least not today.
              There are plenty here making the best of whatever they encounter, that does not mean they are all thankful for the situation or happy to accept it indefinitely. In my eyes, making the best of something is also striving to better it in any which way you can, even if you just prepare your body and mind for treatments to come. Besides, good health and keeping in shape are assets regardless.

              I disagree with what you say above. I believe most people reading this will have an effective therapy factored into their future should they wish for it. No it won't be today, but that day will arrive. You talk of a cure like it would be some sort of tribulation. Funny, I feel the same way about living with an SCI!

              Comment


                #8
                my take

                admire ur optimism...perhaps i shall see that day,for now life sucks for me and i want my old selfish,lust filled overly indulgent,conceded, body building, adrenalin junky, motorcycle riding, self sufficient, 50- 60 hour working, financially stabled, noncathing, continent, nonchilly, pain absent, not as depressing, family supporting, life back.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by xtravla View Post
                  admire ur optimism...perhaps i shall see that day,for now life sucks for me and i want my old selfish,lust filled overly indulgent,conceded, body building, adrenalin junky, motorcycle riding, self sufficient, 50- 60 hour working, financially stabled, noncathing, continent, nonchilly, pain absent, not as depressing, family supporting, life back.

                  Amen...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by xtravla View Post
                    admire ur optimism...perhaps i shall see that day,for now life sucks for me and i want my old selfish,lust filled overly indulgent,conceded, body building, adrenalin junky, motorcycle riding, self sufficient, 50- 60 hour working, financially stabled, noncathing, continent, nonchilly, pain absent, not as depressing, family supporting, life back.
                    times 2!
                    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

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                      #11
                      SCI has me robbed me of life. A normal life. I had more fun in one day pre-SCI than I have... wait... I don't have fun anymore. I guess I'm just a pessimist. This earth was designed to be lived on with all of our body intact. Not 1/2, 1/3, 1/5, 1/10th of it intact. Everything I do I'm constantly reminded that I need to work to do it. Pull this leg this way and push that one that way.. oh, don't do that... remember the pressure sore there on your foot you're trying to heal. Be careful... if you fall it's gonna be a month in the hospital and 6 months at home trying to heal that broken atrophied bone... or two. God forbid getting a bad pressure sore on my butt. I've been lucky in that regard (so far) but there are hundreds of people (maybe thousands) here who have spent months and months... even years trying to heal them. Not to mention the indignity of someone cleaning up your shit when you're bedbound like that. Though since I live alone I guess I'll figure out some damn way to do it myself. Medicare doesn't pay for home healthcare... or enough of it. Medicare... January is deductible month... oh fuckin' great! And there are a million other things that just plain suck when you're SCI'd. You got a screw loose if this is the kind of challenge you enjoy.

                      BTW, how's your sex life? Yeah right... sure... I ain't buying it pal.

                      Maybe you don't mind asking people to do things for you, but I do. I can do most things, ... I must... I live alone, but there are a lot of things I can't. And most of those things just don't get done. I live with it... but I don't like it. Never will.

                      I just want play golf and have a little sex. That ain't gonna happen. A challenge is getting up and down in two strokes from 60 yards out... or picking up a hot chick at the club and gettin' some... not planning for 3 days to keep myself from shitting in the dentist chair.

                      Glad you're on a 12 Step High. Good for you.

                      I don't even know why I wasted my time writing this.

                      Bob.
                      "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Cherry View Post
                        There are plenty here making the best of whatever they encounter, that does not mean they are all thankful for the situation or happy to accept it indefinitely. In my eyes, making the best of something is also striving to better it in any which way you can, even if you just prepare your body and mind for treatments to come. Besides, good health and keeping in shape are assets regardless.

                        I disagree with what you say above. I believe most people reading this will have an effective therapy factored into their future should they wish for it. No it won't be today, but that day will arrive. You talk of a cure like it would be some sort of tribulation. Funny, I feel the same way about living with an SCI!
                        please give me one example of how i 'talked' like a cure would be a tribulation. i SAID that in THIS MOMENT a cure is not what most people are being challenged with or benefitting from. if there is someone being cured as they post, by all means, speak up, prove me wrong.

                        BE HERE NOW - make the most of it. you aren't guarranteed a tomorrow say nothing of a distant future or a cure.
                        Last edited by kan5a5; 23 Jan 2009, 6:21 PM.

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                          #13
                          ....yeah...what everyone else said

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by bob clark View Post
                            SCI has me robbed me of life. A normal life.
                            Yeah, that sux, but... get over it already. Come on, man, how long have you been doing this? Do you seriously want to view your life like this forever? Yes, SCI sux and obviously makes for a life fraught with more pain, inconvenience and difficulty than one without, but this is the hand you've been dealt. You need to get a handle on it. I have never, ever been an optimist, but the one thing I am sure that I have learned from this website is that I am a damned site more pragmatic than a lot of other gimps. My father would be so proud. I just find it rather astonishing.

                            I had more fun in one day pre-SCI than I have... wait... I don't have fun anymore.
                            Sorry to hear that, but let me be the first to inform you that your lack of fun is not directly attributable to your SCI. There are plenty of people out there who are far more disabled, who are far happier than you are.

                            This earth was designed to be lived on with all of our body intact. Not 1/2, 1/3, 1/5, 1/10th of it intact.
                            This earth wasn't designed with modern homosapiens in mind at all. This earth could basically not care less for the existence of human beings. Get over yourself already.

                            Everything I do I'm constantly reminded that I need to work to do it.
                            I can relate to that. I know the feeling of looking around at one's environment and seeing all of one's limitations. It's depressing at best. That being said, I cannot allow myself to fixate on this kind of negativity and I urge you to look beyond it as well.

                            there are a million other things that just plain suck when you're SCI'd. You got a screw loose if this is the kind of challenge you enjoy.
                            While I agree that it's a bit odd for one to claim that they actually "enjoy" any of the negatives that come with SCI, I would also point out that there are at least a million other things that just plain suck that afflict people who are considered AB. Disability does NOT equate to a shitty life anymore than being AB equates to being completely happy.

                            BTW, how's your sex life? Yeah right... sure... I ain't buying it pal.
                            I'll answer that question.

                            My answer is that my sex life is currently lacking. I hate to admit that, but I will also clarify that it is NOT directly connected to my SCI. Not by a long shot. I would be insulted if anyone assumed that it was. Thankfully my endocrinologist is more educated than this.

                            Maybe you don't mind asking people to do things for you, but I do.
                            I don't know anybody that likes being dependent, but guess what? Nobody can do it all by themselves. You are fixating on the things that you believe you would be able to handle if you had never been injured in this particular way. What about the things that you don't know anything about? There are lots of people with SCI who lament the fact that they don't feel they can work on their own cars anymore. However, there are millions of AB people who don't know squat about their cars and must pay someone else to maintain them. The same is true of electrical work or carpentry or landscaping or... whatever. Fixating on the SCI as the be all and end all of one's troubles in life is a recipe for disaster. How can one ever be happy if one is convinced that their physical reality is inherently negative and insurmountable?

                            I just want play golf and have a little sex. That ain't gonna happen.
                            Why not? Aren't you a mid-level para? Why can't you golf? Why can't you be sexually intimate with someone?

                            I don't even know why I wasted my time writing this.
                            I'm guessing it's because you are frustrated and sad and angry and otherwise discontented. If any or all of that is true, I'm sorry to hear it. I know it's hard to work around/thru/beyond those negative emotions. I hope you find a way. You may not care, but I think you are basically a really decent guy and I really hope that you do well. I'll be thinking good thoughts.

                            FTR, I am not the least bit "grateful" for my injury, but I am and always have been thankful for the bounty that exists in my life despite that injury. I would be a small person indeed if I was unaware of how fortunate I truly am.

                            C.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              TR exataposting; how rare, worthwhile and surprising.
                              Last edited by Juke_spin; 24 Jan 2009, 9:01 PM.
                              "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
                              J.B.S.Haldane

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