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Developing a better outlook on life...

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    Developing a better outlook on life...

    I wanted to ask everyone about how they stay positive about their lives and not let things get them too down.
    My injury was at c4/ 5, is incomplete and happened 16 yrs ago...I'm now 33. For different reasons I've found it easy to get down and frustrated about where my life is.
    What do people with SCI out there do to stay positive and keep moving forward?
    C4/5 incomplete, 17 years since injury

    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” - Carlos Castaneda

    "We live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom: our body." - Marcel Proust

    Hello QuadPowers,

    I asked myself a similar question over 44 years ago. Over the years I lived my life by asking myself the question, "Do I want to sit/lay on my ass the rest of my life or rejoin the living?" A few years ago I saw baseball pitcher Greg Maddux in an interview. When asked about losing a game his reply was, "I don't worry about things I have no control over." (His team was not scoring runs.) I have lived my life the same way. I think about how I wrecked my car and broke my neck. I have no control over that now. But sit in a chair or lay in bed all the time...I have some control over that so I worked my butt off in physical therapy, year after year. It has paid off and I have been working the last 40 years. Even now, though I had to admit it, I can still slide off in the dumps if I am not careful.

    I admit it is a difficult life but I just play the hand I am dealt.

    Good luck and try to think positive thoughts instead of wishing this had never happened.
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne


      QuadPowers: I'm with Millard. "Think positve thoughts". I try not to dwell on negatives too much and "don't worry about things I have no control over". I just try to live one day at a time.


        From one of my favorite movies, Shawshank Redemption: Get busy living, or get busy dying.

        It can be tough no doubt, but you just keep at it. If you're naturally a positive person this comes a whole lot easier. If you're not, like my good friend, it can be a struggle. But the key is you keep trying.

        Good luck!


          Just injured about 5 months ago...I still cry at least a little bit everyday. I'm still grieving the loss of my independence - since then i'm back to staying with my parents. Also, I think the unknown really is a tear jerker.
          Kelly - living day by day is whats hardest for me. i look forward to going to bed everyday because i know i cant get hurt and i need rest to heal.
          Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. -- John Lennon


            There are times when it is so easy to get down and think about what could have been...but what could have been will never be for me so I focus on what I have, who I have, and where I want to go from here. It's always good to have something to work towards.

            First, it was college. So I went, worked myself crazy, and graduated. Next, full-time job. Checked that off the list. Now? A house. I bought the land in October and am planning on starting building in spring (fingers are crossed). Throw in a few cute guys along the way, and well, the past 8 years of my life hasn't been so horrible. Goals give me a sense of accomplishment, and that is such a good feeling, plus I love proving to people that this injury is not going to keep me from having what I want out of life.

            Second, I cut out the negative things from my life. Mostly they are people. The older I get, the more I realize that I do not have to feel guilty about not wanting to be around anyone who doesn't have my best interest at heart. I have whittled my "friends" list down dramatically in the last 2 years. Of course, that could have to do with the fact that I don't go to bars and party like we did in college either. It feels good though. I would rather hang out with my siblings and family than anyone else anyway. Be around people who love and appreciate you. Everyone else isn't worth the time or effort you are willing to give them if they don't reciprocate it.

            Lastly, smile. Sometimes it really does help.
            If there is light
            it will find

            --Charles Bukowski


              LIP26: I still cry over things I can't control, like wetting, loss of independence, etc., I'm 10 months post. I would have a good cry and get on instead of dwelling on what I can't do.


                After 25 years in, I say keep your mind occupied, QuadPowers. When the negative thoughts come, and they do for all of us, forcibly chase them out of your mind. Do this often enough, and it becomes habit, and the thoughts don't come nearly as often.
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                  QuadPowers, Like you I was injured at sixteen with a C5 incomplete diagnosis but, I am now in my fifties.
                  My suggestion would be to stay busy. I have been full time employed for the last thirty years and have three children (young adults) from a defaulted marriage.
                  Physical activities are also a big plus. Biking, swimming and nordic skiing are some of the sports I use to elevate the endorphins and push for new goals.
                  I volunteer with my local adaptive sports organization with their Special Olympics programs. Good people and it’s amazing what you can learn if you keep an open mind.
                  I still have my demons to battle but, I can usually catch myself before I get in to deep. Best wishes in your future endeavors.
                  1977 - C5 ambulating Quad