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How do you cope with Sci?

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    How do you cope with Sci?

    I sometimes wonder if it had been better to be paralyzed before adulthood so so I never had the opportunity to know how great life could be v. dwelling over the fond memories. It took me 40 years, but I cherished each day with vigor. How ironic was it to then have it instantly stolen from me, to be followed by nothing but even more loss and tragedy.
    Now I find if I don't keep preoccupied, as much as physically can I go insane with frustration and anger over just how stupid it is having to live like this without hope for recovery.
    I see on tv news reports how some people throw their lives away by committing senseless crimes, suicide, etc ,, wishing I could have their spinal cords. Silly?

    #2
    Originally posted by Tim C. View Post
    I sometimes wonder if it had been better to be paralyzed before adulthood so so I never had the opportunity to know how great life could be v. dwelling over the fond memories. It took me 40 years, but I cherished each day with vigor. How ironic was it to then have it instantly stolen from me, to be followed by nothing but even more loss and tragedy.
    Now I find if I don't keep preoccupied, as much as physically can I go insane with frustration and anger over just how stupid it is having to live like this without hope for recovery.
    I see on tv news reports how some people throw their lives away by committing senseless crimes, suicide, etc ,, wishing I could have their spinal cords. Silly?
    I could easily be in your torment. And i think i know what you are going through. I am lucky to have a little more function than you c7 which helps me to be able to stay active with other things like work. I try to keep busy all the time. I work 6 days a week and have very little time to think about the reality of my situation.
    I try not to think about my past life. Outside of my family I really don't like seeing anyone from my pass life or think what could of been. Because if I do I would be think the same thoughts you do.
    Only advise I can give is. Try something that can keep your thoughts on something else.

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      #3
      I find that when it comes to other SCI I avoid having anything other than casual acquaintances, for the same reason I do not have any mirrors or anything that might reveal my reflection in my home. I cannot bear to see myself in the wheelchair.

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        #4
        It's fortunate I got sober (83) before getting injured (95)! It probably would have given me a space to die in.

        But, having spent twelve years active in AA gave me a huge advantage: it gave me a loving and accepting community to be supported by, and most of that support was just listening to me or being "around"
        Also, AA reparented me. I often refer to the experience as "the care and feeding of phil 101"
        And one of the best lessons is acceptance. Alcoholics seem to not have learned that they aren't "god", and think like they should be in control of everything!
        A passage in our Big Book states (sic) "no matter what the trouble, no matter what the cause, the problem is me. And the answer is acceptance."

        Tim, I wish I was a magician and I'd fix all this for you, but I can't. But perhaps you can take some of my post to heart and try it on. It worked for me.
        I was always a loner and fiercely independent until alcohol kicked my ass and my recovery, and reassessment of reality put me on a new arc.
        Metaphorically, becoming paralyzed was very similar to hitting my bottom with alcohol, and the new life skills/tools of sobriety gave me a way to transcend the losses.
        Today I say without bragging, my life is extraordinary. And, so, it is!

        They say in AA, if what you're doing isn't working, do something different
        Maybe you could see if having friends in chairs works now when it hasn't before? (I don't have many gimp friends but do have two or three). For the Lone Ranger (me), discovering a community of like minded individuals absolutely forced me to change my reality, rules, beliefs about who I was and what is reality

        And, the thing about the mirrors? OMG, Tim! (I'm absolutely an atheist but the god metaphor works so I use it) You are a beloved child of God and he doesn't make any junk! You are lovable. Your are deserving. You are equal, and all your needs are important. Please, stop discounting yourself this way! It made me sad when I read what you said about yourself.

        Where in NJ are you? Are you able to travel? You would be welcome at my door which is near Flanders and is in a nice country setting and fully accessible.
        It would be taking a risk to see if we'd become friends. Really being alive absolutely demands risk. But it has compounded returns.

        PS: I just re-read this and edited a mistake (does anal-compulsive have a hyphen? )
        then I teared up. tears of joy. Again seeing the deprivation I came from; sadness that so much of my life I didn't love myself or the world.
        Such a foolish wound
        69yo male T12 complete since 1995
        NW NJ

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          #5
          Tim c.
          Pfc49 said it well. You much learn to embrace the life you have now. There is no going back. Thinking about it just makes it worse.

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            #6
            I swear A LOT. I even have a shirt. "What I lack in ability. I make up for with swearing"

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              #7
              Repetitive advice syndrome: As others have said the problem, and this one is shared by many many people be they disabled or not, is the error of dwelling in the past instead of accepting reality. Reality changes. I've always had a tendency to dwell in the past (what if I were still married to my first husband? Would life be better? What if...yadda, yadda, I just feel pulled to relive the past.)

              Certainly i get frustrated with many things that are difficult to cope with. Tim, if you were 40 when you were injured and you joined this forum in 2002 you are an old guy. I am old, too, and the pull to relive the past is stronger now than ever. I think it may be partly due to changes in brain function. Neither my brain nor my energy level keep up well compared to when I was younger. So I'm applying problem solving. I stay off the internet much more than before and I do not follow the news until it is at least a month old. Such things distract my ability to focus and problem solve real things.

              I suspect a good part of the loss of mental focus I have endured over the last 10 years can be traced not to age but to high speed broadband. It became so easy to distract myself with endless stories unrelated to any of my life tasks. It was just a way of avoiding the pain of facing life from a chair, however temporarily.

              Which is why I'm ending this right here to go do real life stuff. I have clothing that needs mending with these frustrating, gimpy quad fingers of mine. Baldfatdad, can I borrow your t-shirt?

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                #8
                Tim as a Para I hesitate to even respond. I know in some ways the difference in my life and yours is like mine to an AB. Yet there are similarities in our situations. If I focus on what I lost and what I cannot do I will be miserable. I know I did it for a while and it sucked. You can argue that it is easier for me a para to move on and focus on what I can do because I can do more and you would be right. I can tell you that that being said the answer is still to focus on what you can do. I know this is repetitive but it bears repeating. We may live for a couple of decades more or even longer. I know it is easy for me to say but it makes it none the less true. The only shot any of us have is to focus on what we can do. I do not know all the details of your situation but they really will not change the best course of action for any of us. Focus on what you have, what you can do and find something you enjoy doing.

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                  #9
                  68 here sci when I was 50 doing what I loved barrel racing mine was freak accident but as c6c7 its doable moving to florida is the best thing I have done I have new friends we ride they help me doing things

                  I got a taste of what life could have been with limited quad paw for 2 weeks in hospital I could not feed my self it took 2 weeks to get it back they still don/tknow why but I have my lord everyday. I don/t dare look back only forward but moving here I hav a new life
                  Attached Files

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                    #10
                    This is how I deal and cope with my spinal cord injury.

                    This is how I deal and cope with my spinal cord injury. Yes, life is hard, everyday, I make a success of it. This is what gets me out of bed every work day. Yes, everyday I must take extreme care of myself living with this catastrophic injury to fulfill life's mission.

                    We are in a new Space Race to Mars. The first country that makes it there first wins space supremacy. America will do it and win! I don't look back and dwell what happened March 23, 1987, I look forward to the future. What I do for NASA is always exciting and there's more to come my way with sending man to the moon and beyond.

                    NASA Aims to Land Astronauts Back on Moon in 5 Years



                    Off work, how I deal and cope with my spinal cord injury is by listening to music, reading, traveling by air and being active in my community. I look forward to going back to university to learn more skills to get man and woman to the moon and beyond.

                    Working for NASA keeps my mind sharp and strong and my body healthy. As I told many of my doctors I will work as long as I am healthy and able to.

                    God bless America!

                    Now let's get to work!

                    Ti
                    Last edited by titanium4motion; 31 Mar 2019, 10:29 PM.
                    "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm a c7. I spend 75-90 minutes/day doing sci stuff and the rest of the time I just live and don't think about it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Tim C. View Post
                        I sometimes wonder if it had been better to be paralyzed before adulthood so so I never had the opportunity to know how great life could be v. dwelling over the fond memories. It took me 40 years, but I cherished each day with vigor. How ironic was it to then have it instantly stolen from me, to be followed by nothing but even more loss and tragedy.
                        Now I find if I don't keep preoccupied, as much as physically can I go insane with frustration and anger over just how stupid it is having to live like this without hope for recovery.
                        I see on tv news reports how some people throw their lives away by committing senseless crimes, suicide, etc ,, wishing I could have their spinal cords. Silly?
                        Nope. 100% wrong. Broke my neck at 15 gr.10 and I can't listen to a friend/stranger or even my fiancee talk about a relationship/experience they had in their teens/20s without feeling unbearably bitter and angry to the point that I go silent and my mood instantaneously sours to the point that I'm in a bad mood for at least 30-60 min fighting internally to not be bitchy to whomever I'm with. I actually told my financee I'd rather not hear about any past relationships, espec from her teens/20s because I can't help getting angry/sad/depressed/bitter/jealous because I have zero fond/happy memories to share or relate to from those times in my life. I'd give up everything I have in the world to have had even a few happy normal memories to look back on from my teens/20s and not feel like I just watched everyone get to enjoy the funnest times of their lives while I watched it pass me by like a spectator to my own life. Or be stuck with experiences that were hollow shells of what they should have been. It's horrible... trust me... I'd give anything to blank out that time in my life because of it if only to not feel bitter towards others for doing nothing but getting to experience their formative years happily. It makes it incredibly hard to function in an adult relationship in a healthy way. And I feel like a horrible person when I get in that mood around my financee when she makes the most innocent comment or recalls a fond memory and my immediate reaction is bitterness. I honestly fear it'll drive her away some day

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                          #13
                          Definitely see your point RJC.
                          Admire you Patton, but maybe if I shared your mobility and no constant pain I'd accept this.

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                            #14
                            Btw, RJC
                            Very moving post
                            Life not fair , you sound true.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Tim C. View Post
                              Definitely see your point RJC.
                              Admire you Patton, but maybe if I shared your mobility and no constant pain I'd accept this.
                              There's no doubt the extra mobility helps. It ain't perfect but I'm finding some pockets of peace 30 years into this now.

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