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What is at least one thing you have learned or grown from because of your SCI?

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  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    @BrookeU
    It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with your brother.  I am so very close to all of my brothers and sister and I have three of each.  Even though we are on opposite sides of the country, we stay in touch by phone and I get back to see them at least once a year.  
  • BrookeUBrookeU Moderator Posts: 176 Moderator
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    @iamdadman, I love hearing that adult sibling relationships can still be full (and with SIX siblings, wow!) despite location. Once we were both in college, he lived about an hour and a half from me, but for the past year has been four hours away (still in the same state). Now with me graduating from college soon, I'm sure I'll be headed somewhere far away for a while. I've worried about what that distance would mean, so thank you for sharing that you still are able to keep up with your siblings.
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    @BrookeU
    Brooke, I am in Washington state, I have 3 brothers and a sister in NY and a sister in North Carolina and a sister in Florida.  I talk to them each at least once a week.  We laugh and share funny stories from our past.  Then we will talk about what is going on with work, their family and other stuff.  I miss them terribly but I would never move back to NY.  I love it here in WA.
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    @garrisonredd
    @Crucker
    I came across this article in New Mobility.  I thought it was a good read...
    http://www.newmobility.com/2019/04/coping-with-disability/
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    I thought I had posted this but I cannot find it.  It's an article from New Mobility magazine.  I thought it was a good read...
    http://www.newmobility.com/2019/04/coping-with-disability/
  • CruckerCrucker Moderator Posts: 76 Moderator
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    Funny that you remember the date of your brother's injury. After 22 years, no one in my family even remembers the month, let alone the day. Maysoon Zahid, a Palestinian/Muslim comic with CP, is fond of saying that CP is only one of 99 problems she has to deal with. When I became paralyzed in 1996, I only had 10 other problems, but they were big. I had a mortgage the size of Wyoming, was in debt up to my ears, had a career that was going sideways, at best, and my mother-in-law lived with us. The paralysis was God's way of saying "get your act together." This sign could've been something much less severe, like an peptic ulcer or a DUI, but it worked. I did get my act together. Would I have done it without the paralysis? Who knows?

  • garrisonreddgarrisonredd Moderator Posts: 154 Moderator
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    @BrookeU that is and was the best way for me to move forward the date of my injury wasn't something that should be remembered. It was just another day like any other day so In order to move forward I felt that it was important that I didn't give any attention to the day of my injury and I treated it like any other day.

  • BrookeUBrookeU Moderator Posts: 176 Moderator
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    @iamdadman, I'm planning to try the New York thing, while my brother is more of a laid-back, mid-size Southeastern city kind of guy. Maybe I'll eventually join him there if I get tired of big city life!
  • garrisonreddgarrisonredd Moderator Posts: 154 Moderator
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    I am here in new york if you ever need any advice on where to go hit me up @BrookeU
  • garrisonreddgarrisonredd Moderator Posts: 154 Moderator
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    I'm checking out the article now @iamdadman
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    @garrisonredd
    I hope that you get something out of it.  I thought it was pretty good...

    Joe
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    @BrookeU
    Hey Brooke,  
    New York is a heck of a place.  New York is a big state and most people only think of NY City when they think of New York.  I grew up in Rockland County which is about 20 miles north of Manhattan.  It was rural while I was growing up but has slowly become part of the city.  Upstate New York is beautiful and in the fall the fall colors are beautiful.  Golds, yellows, oranges, purples, reds... just gorgeous.  In New York City I don't care what your interests are, you will find them in NYC.  Food, music, theater, Times Square, Greenwich Village, SOHO, the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Guggenheim, Museums, it is all fantastic.  But... a lot of people and traffic!  As the expression goes... it's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there,,,

    Joe
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    @Crucker
    Life is a beautiful and mysterious thing isn't it.  Something like a traumatic injury helps motivate you to take drastic action to make your life better.  We don't get to question why... we just keep moving forward...

    Joe
  • CruckerCrucker Moderator Posts: 76 Moderator
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    Beautiful and mysterious, for sure, and sometimes cruel and random. This kind of growth-after-tragedy is something I write about a lot. Two psychologists at UNC dubbed it many years ago "post traumatic growth syndrome." They interview thousands of people post-trauma -- trauma from disease, accident, loss of a child, etc -- and found that many of them, but certainly not all, felt "helped" in some ways by their life-altering trauma. There have been other studies showing the same result. It's a chance to clear your mind of many old self-recriminations and try something new, take some risks, make a new leap into the unknown. After accident or injury with chronic results, why do some people just suffer and back off from life and others redefine themselves and change? No one really knows, but many think there is a genetic element in the mix. Even so, resilience is something like a muscle -- it can get bigger and stronger through practice. Resilience needs something to push against, like adversity, and paralysis, as we all know, is one hell of an adversity.
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    @Crucker
    So very true... beautiful and mysterious and cruel and random as well.  I once heard it said that "Everything is a Miracle."  I don't know that I completely agree with that  but I do believe that there are miracles in everything that happens.  I often wonder that same thing; why is it that some people respond to adversity with fortitude and resolve and others choose, and I use that word purposely, to crawl under a rock.  I think that it was there before their injury and they are just following course with how they approached everything else in life...  I like your insightful comments Cruck...

    Joe
  • ZcollieZcollie Moderator Posts: 239 Moderator
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    @iamdadman I was injured in 2010 as well. It will be 9 years for me on May 31st. I thought is was interesting how you dreaded every month on the day that your accident happened. It makes sense, but is something I never had a hard time with. Only the first couple of years on the anniversary of my accident did I feel really down. Now I view it as a celebration and that I am still alive on earth! It is kind of like a second birthday for me and the day that my life changed forever. I have accepted my injury for what it is and my only focus is to keep moving forward. I no longer worry about the things that are out of my control and work on the things I can still do. I decided for my 9 year anniversary this year I am celebrating by going skydiving!!
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    @Zcollie
    Thanks for your response.  Yes, today we hardly give any thought at all.  My wife refers to that day as the happy you are still alive day.  I will tell you a quick story.  It was probably about 4-5 years ago and my wife and I were coming back from a meeting and she was driving.  I don't drive at night because of complete blindness in my left eye.  Anyway, I was just sitting in the passenger seat looking out the window not really thinking about anything and this feeling came over me.  It kind of just tapped me on the shoulder to take notice.  After sitting with the feeling for a bit I realized the feeling was acceptance.  I had finally and totally accepted my injury and paralysis.  What was even more amazing and I am not a religious person but rather very spiritual, was after realizing the feeling was the feeling of acceptance, I realized that my Creator had done that for me.  Meaning that my Creator had done for me what I could not do for myself.  It was an extremely powerful feeling.

    Joe
  • ZcollieZcollie Moderator Posts: 239 Moderator
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    @iamdadman You are welcome and thank you for sharing your story! So awesome to hear and I am happy you had that experience(: 
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • CruckerCrucker Moderator Posts: 76 Moderator
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    Joe, I had a similar experience about 3-4 years into my paralysis, but I didn't credit a creator; I credited the slow, deliberate, day to day process of turning each brain cell around to the conviction this is who I am and I might as well get behind it. Like you, it happened in an instant. With me, what lifted was an overwhelming sense of sadness and despair and what replaced it was a confidence and resilience I hadn't felt since my injury, if ever.  As I mentioned before, I think resilience is a learned response to adversity and disappointment. As one writer on the subject said, you don't build resilience without scar tissue, either the physical kind or more often the emotional kind. As we all know, a lot of kids today are protected by their parents from ever experiencing true adversity or defeat growing up. Most have never done a simple rite of passage like climbing a tree and falling off it, let alone gone to war or struggle to make ends meet. They might think they have it made, but the irony is, it will make life infinitely harder for them.

  • garrisonreddgarrisonredd Moderator Posts: 154 Moderator
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    I had a similar experience @iamdadman and @Crucker. It was a random day and I was just staring at myself in the mirror for like 5 minutes in a daze and I said to myself I accept who I am. The strangest part was it came out subconsciously like I had no attention in saying it, but at that point, I finally felt comfortable with being myself.
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    @garrisonredd
    @Crucker
    Well done guys.  My relationship with a spiritual life is interesting.  I don't go in for the whole "man in the sky thing."  I have no problem in anyone's spiritual or religious beliefs as I believe in all paths to however or whatever you think of as God.  Having been raised in organized religion, for me personally, I don't have much use for it.  That was what was so profound about my experience is because I didn't expect it due to my negative feelings about organized religion.  I see my Creator in nature mostly; the trees, ocean, flowers, wind, love, mountains, wildlife... those kinds of things.  
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    @Zcollie
    Thank you very much.  As I said, it was a moving and profound experience for me.  I once heard it said that, "happiness is an inside job" and having that experience helped me realize that at times, I judged my insides by other people's outsides...

    Joe
  • CruckerCrucker Moderator Posts: 76 Moderator
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    To all: a third element I like to add to the cocktail of post-para acceptance is distraction. Healthy distraction. It definitely works with neuropathic pain. Fully distract yourself and the pain loses its edge. If you have obsessive thought patterns that bother you, shift focus to something more engaging and pleasing. Your ability to distract yourself will lead to new habits of mind. If I were smart enough to write a manual to build resilience, this would be a whole chapter. Love to all, AR
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
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    @Crucker
    good sage advise... I use it all the time.  For me, I am fortunate that I play piano and had a PT help me design a chair that I can continue to play.  When I play, it takes me away from most of my nerve pain which is a killer...

    Joe
  • CruckerCrucker Moderator Posts: 76 Moderator
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    Thanks, Joe. I think healthy distraction works with all kinds of pain -- nerve pain, as you mentioned, but also mental pain, whatever form it takes. When you play the piano, I bet, you are fully in that moment and all other issues fade from consciousness. Same with me and writing, as least on a good writing day. Writing is my yoga. The best way to escape something you can't control is to shift focus to something that you can control. If you are a stand-up comedian and you know exactly how to pause before delivering a punch line that has gotten you laughs dozens of times before, you bask in that mastery (and the laughs). It's a double edged sword, of course. The minute you walk off stage, you're just any other schlump with problems, plus you've experienced a total immersion in that moment on stage that is difficult to duplicate off stage. I guess if you join a religious cult, you can be immersed in a blissful state all the time, but there's clearly a downside to that, too. Stick with playing the piano. AR
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