The advantage of life’s pain is the more you experience, the more you can handle in the future and the less it throws you off your game. Ironically, in some way pain prepares you to cope with the difficulties that life throws at you often when you least expect them. With this in mind forty-eight hours after my major trauma learning the harsh reality that I would never walk again, anything that preceded should have been a walk in the park. But the path that lay ahead was a hard and painful one. It contained multiple operations, blood transfusions, tears, 5am bowel regimes, painkillers, sleepless nights in a nineteen bed ward, extreme infections, a 15kg weight loss, sleeping tablets, mood stimulants, laxatives, wheelchairs, and a ten month hospital stent. I had entered my own personal horror story, a living nightmare to a once healthy female in the prime of her life. All it took was one instant to come to fruition and my somewhat normal life to vanish into thin air. By the end of rehab, almost a year since my accident I was a shadow of my former self. I was no longer with my partner of four years and in our then home. Leaving the hospital was surrounded with more anxieties as due to poor facilities in the west of Ireland, my new home was a room in a congregated setting. The loss of my permanent job which I had earned after eight years of painstaking college and no longer possessing the ability to drive after ten years were some of the knife wrenching social loses I had to come to terms with on top of my newly injured body.
Despite all this I still had the choice how to respond to the pain and to keep the right mindset. Easier said than done but if you respond to pain the wrong way, it makes you weaker, not stronger. In order to keep the right mindset, you need to change your perspective. The cold hard fact is that bad things happen to good people every day of the week. Injury and disease doesn’t smite just the most strong willed of the human race. And yet a significant amount of us go on with life eventually. The people who struggle most are the ones who can’t accept the incessant unfairness of life. They become so consumed with what should have happened that they become incapable of dealing with reality. No matter how bad the situation, no matter how hopeless it seems, there is always an opportunity to turn it around; for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction. We simply need someone to remind us that to triumph over adversity we must be capable to overcome anything life throws at us. You might not be able to change your situation but you can make the most of what you have. You can take some control back. You can choose to smile, to keep your head up, to keep going even if the odds are not in your favour. You always have a choice after all. Our soul’s energy can be overshadowed or lay dormant for awhile, dulled by the world’s activities but our spirit cannot.