Acceptance before progress
If you speak to any recovering alcoholic or drug addict who has attended any form of rehabilitation, they will tell you that the therapists all want the admission and acceptance that there is a problem, before the healing process and rehabilitation can begin. If I as an alcoholic deny that I have a drinking problem or merely give verbal agreement to it, I may just as well never attend any rehab meetings. You see, the healing and rehabilitation process cannot begin or will be ineffective unless I as the alcoholic admit that I have a drinking problem and then accept the fact that help is required.
In the same vein, I as a disabled, otherwise abled or what ever you wish to call it, person, will struggle with rehabilitation and experience great difficulty with coping with the disease or disability. Denial and negativity are equally as damaging to the alcoholic as to the disabled person. Before any form of rehabilitation can take place we have to first ACKNOWLEDGE that there is a problem.
Then we need to ACCEPT that we have a disease or disability that can be lived with even if we cannot beat it. It took me three years to accept that I had an incurable disease called IBM Inclusion Body Myositis, and that no mistake had been made in the diagnosis. I visited every possible doctor or specialist that gave me any hope of a change in diagnosis, searched the internet for hundreds of fruitless hours, swallowed all sorts of potions and pills and read all the literature I could lay my hands on. Why I thought that the books or internet would give me any different information I don’t know. The rarity of my disease meant that in a lot of instances I knew more about it than my doctors. After my first visit with them they would hastily read up on the disease. Now I am not pointing fingers at any doctor because there is no man that could memorise all about the thousands of diseases that infest our planet.
Once acknowledged and accepted we need to ADAPT or lives and life styles to accommodate the disease or disability. It is a pointless exercise denying the problem and refusing to adapt your style of doing a particular thing. As an example, by persisting in holding a pen in the same way as you have always done just because you are too stubborn to change, you will succeed only in frustrating and annoying yourself and others. Adapt to a new style that accommodates the problem. You succeed in writing without the frustration, irritation and aggravation just by burying your pride in some available pocket. I kept having sudden unexpected falls while I persisted in denying that I needed walking aids. A walking stick, crutches and a wheeled walker all played their part, even though I still fell on the odd occasion, until I felt that my body could not take any more abuse and decided to use a wheelchair. I can still enjoy my life in a wheelchair providing that my attitude is positive.
Now to make all of this work for you, you need to have the correct positive ATTITUDE. A positive attitude will breed success and your trips to the “depression dungeon” will become fewer and shorter in duration. We may not be able to change the direction of the wind but if we adjust our sails we can certainly go where we want to go. I know that it is difficult to be positive all the time but as soon as you feel the negativity bug, you need to busy yourself with an interest like painting, writing, reading or whatever grabs your fancy. Doing this will take your mind off the negativity and remove the stress of the situation.
The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything that comes along their way.
About the Author
Years of experience with disabilities and the disabled all learned first hand. Wheelyboy has been confined to a wheelchair for the past 10 years now and writes articles as a hobby. He has had numerous articles published in magazines in South Africa and various sites on the internet. Some funny, some sad, some happy but all informative.