I saw a post on Facebook the other day. The person posting has an SCI, uses a wheelchair and is a quad. She was frustrated and angry that an acquaintance of hers (also has an SCI but is able to walk) was complaining about their life and everything that comes along with an SCI. The frustration came because she felt this person was ungrateful for the mobility they had and really just had a crappy attitude.
It got me thinking of when I was freshly injured and I would see other guys who could move their legs and some even walk. And there I was, barely even bringing my hand to my mouth to feed myself yogurt (I hate yogurt!). I was jealous and angry that they had more mobility than I. I wondered how they could feel depressed when they had so much.
A lot of time has passed and I have met a ton of people with SCI, some on ventilators and a sip-puff wheelchair, others zooming past me in their sports chairs and yet others slowly walking across the room using a walker. It’s kind of an amazing thing, a spinal cord injury. They are like snowflakes, each unique and entirely different.
However, I do think there is something very similar in all of us— a little bit of FIGHT. We have the fight (I think we all have it, crappy attitude and all) and we have the humor and we have our support system but before all that, we HAVE gone through a super huge life changing experience. And the coping, that is unique and entirely different for everyone as well.
The sudden change, the loss, the grief, the adjustment…It’s all very real and present with all of us. The feelings and emotions that come along with an SCI are valid for all of us despite the injury level or ability. It can be frustrating when I see a friend having a hard time adjusting but all I can do is be there and give them the time they need, although I sometimes just want to give them a little kick in the ass and tell them to LIVE LIFE!
I no longer get angry or jealous when I see someone more “able” than I. I am happy for them for being where they are. And, I am happy for me because I am working towards my goals. I figure we are all fighting for something, right?
Hmmm… Speaking of snowflakes and fighting…SNOW BALL FIGHTS!!!
YUP …THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!