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Giving Up vs. Letting Go

BrittanyFrankBrittanyFrank Moderator Posts: 65 Moderator
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How long did you go through physical therapy? As a t-12 incomplete paraplegic I had a lot of guilt and questions of how much recovery I would get. I felt like I had to push my body as hard as I could those first few years of recovery because I had no idea what I could get back, strengthen or learn from physical therapy. At first we all want to work hard to get back to "normal" or get better again, but it becomes mentally and physically exhausting. 

For me I'd joke that my part-time job was physical therapy as a patient those first two years post injury. Eventually I decided to stop going because I didn't feel like it was serving me anymore. I thought people might judge me for giving up on recovery and walking again, but for me it was finally letting go. As a runner I never gave up. Giving up wasn't an option. But  I learned a healthier way to put it is letting go. Letting go of the the old me, the hopes and dreams of walking normally again and accepting my reality and my new life. Knowing that I gave it my all in PT and that this is what I had left to work with. I had to recognize that I wasn't giving up, but that I was letting go so I could move forward in life. 

So I'll ask again when and why did you stop physical therapy or do you still attend?


  • BrittanyFrankBrittanyFrank Moderator Posts: 65 Moderator
    10 Comments 5 Awesomes Name Dropper 5 Likes
    Also this quote worded it much more eloquently than I could, but I loved these words that helped me find peace about letting go:

    "There is a big difference between giving up and letting go. Giving up means selling yourself short. It means allowing fear and struggle toilet your opportunities and keep you stuck. Letting go means freeing yourself from something that is no longer serving you. Giving up reduces your life. Letting go expands it. giving up is imprisoning. Letting go is liberation. Giving up is self-defeat. Letting go is self-care.
    So the next time you make the decision to release something or someone that is stifling your happiness and growth, and a person has the audacity to accuse you of giving up or being weak, remind yourself of the difference. Remind yourself that you don't need anyone's permission or approval to life your life in the way that feels right. No one has the authority to tell you who to be or how to live. No one gets to decide what your life should look like or who should be a part of it. No one, but you."   
    -Danielle Koepke- 
  • WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Moderator Posts: 384 Moderator
    100 Awesomes 100 Likes 100 Comments First Anniversary
    @BrittanyFrank this quote is everything! Thank you for posting this. Also, thank you for this topic. I needed this right now... 

    My husband recently got news that his physical therapy would be cancelled by his insurance. He is beyond upset, especially since the person who "decided" to cut him off has never met him, and does not know how much he has been able to accomplish with therapy. She has recommended a home workout program, but guess what - that needs to be facilitated by ME.. his wife and only caregiver. They're more than happy to push more duties off onto me, even though I do not get paid. UGH.. this is another post but I wanted to give you a background

    Both my husband and I operate on a "do whats right for you" mentality and also, if life hands us lemons that we may not understand, and find unfair, we HAVE to believe it is what is right for us both. I have to believe that something great will come out of me helping him recover more often, and he has to believe that physical therapy in a clinical setting is not the only answer. Sometimes you are not given a choice, but you STILL have to embrace it. Just like you're saying in your post - doing what is right for you is a choice, no matter how slim the options are, no matter who thinks you're making a mistake. Your life is YOUR life. You cannot answer to anyone else or else, you are living for other people. 

    You gave up therapy because it did not serve you anymore. Your CHOICE. My husband is giving up traditional therapy because he wasn't given a choice, BUT, its his CHOICE how he responds. Its my CHOICE how I respond. Its our choice how WE move forward. 

    So no matter what life presents you with, your life is your own and your choice, and you dont have to answer to anyone. How you look at it is everything, and at the end of the day, people's judgements is just a sign of their own issues and has nothing to do with you.

    Thank you for your post

    Brooke (WAGs of SCI)
    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
  • SterlionSterlion Moderator Posts: 100 Moderator
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    As of yesterday I have had an SCI for seven years... wow doesn't feel like that long. I continue to go to therapy. One reason is because my other is a physical therapist so I get it at hoe whether I like it or not. My biggest reason to not stop is because of how far I've come because of it. I am a c5-c6 complete quadriplegic. Initially you could easily tell, but now I feel almost just as good as a paraplegic. I even get confused for being a para sometimes. I want to continue rehab to become more and more functional and who knows what the limit will be? 

    I know you said therapy wasn't doing anything for you anymore, but do you exercise or do something active you wouldn't call therapy? I'm assuming you're a paraplegic which I can see why you'd want to stop.
  • BrittanyFrankBrittanyFrank Moderator Posts: 65 Moderator
    10 Comments 5 Awesomes Name Dropper 5 Likes
    @WAGSofSCI that is what can be so frustrating and disheartening about insurance and healthcare. I would've had a harder time letting go, if I wasn't the one in charge of that decision. Honestly, all SCIs could benefit from continued physical therapy to some extent. 
  • BrittanyFrankBrittanyFrank Moderator Posts: 65 Moderator
    10 Comments 5 Awesomes Name Dropper 5 Likes
    @Sterlion Oh I definitely still exercise, stretch and do some of the PT exercises that I can do on my own. And different levels definitely require different amounts of assistance so I totally see why you continue or why others need either a physical therapist or a knowledgable trainer to assist them in some exercises. I even go back to PT every so often with particular goal in my that I want to improve and work on. The last time I went was to work on spasticity and foot pain, which ended in surgery. All of our needs or so unique even if we have the same level of injury. 

    But I think it's safe to say that we all need some kind of movement, stretching and care for our bodies regularly - SCI or not!
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