In my journey I learned that everything I experienced before my introduction to
“disability” still existed. It didn’t disappear; it didn’t run away, it didn’t go poof into the
unknown. Everything was still a part of me that actually gave me an advantage as
I stepped into new territory.
It took quite a while for this light bulb to turn on but when it did, Holy Hanna! I realized
that my before life was completely intertwined with the introduction to a different me. I
was carrying with me the wisdom of life lessons I had already learned. I figured out
that I could lean on them as I worked my way to coping, compensating, and accepting. Of
course this didn’t happen overnight. I had to go through all the crap trauma threw at me
and grieve for what left my body. I had to fight my way through stages of confusion to finally
accept what happened to me: I felt denial and isolation; I tried to block it all out and hide
from what happened. Whoa anger – that was huge one for me, I was so angry at
myself,others I thought I could trust to support me, and the doctors. I was so mad
that I almost exploded with anger.
Then I tried to bargain with it, what if I would have spoken up, what if I
hadn’t done this or that, what if, what if…. Oh, the boiling rotten monster of depression. I
worried about everything – how I was going to work, how I was going to pay bills, that my
life was over, all I had left was an empty shell that once held my life.
Fighting my way through a horrible storm, acceptance finally showed up. Oh, what a relief that
was! I felt the shell of captivity crack open and I went into a full out run to making it work.
These stages didn’t go in any order, they were all over the map, some joined hands with
others. I shiver as I remember how I struggled to escape the storm, except the wave of
acceptance. There are times yet today that I experience some, only now I know it’s part of
the journey. I learned to just roll with it, isn’t easy by any means, but at least now I
understand what and why I’m feeling the way I do.
So, I guess the overall lesson I learned was not to forget that who I was before is who I am
now. That life traveled with me and took me to a destination of understanding
acceptance is a key to a grand new life.