A dose of perspective

Perspective is something that I certainly don’t lack with all the challenges I face, but something nevertheless that I think I can always benefit from, so I’ll share a bit of perspective I gained today. I was chatting with another SCI patient at the new gym I started going to (photos and more on that coming soon) whose injury was similar to mine, just one level higher up on his spine. He was injured almost four years ago and had made tremendous progress all over his body, but he had not yet recovered function in his hands. He saw me adjusting something with my hands and told me how “lucky” I was to have even the limited hand strength that I have especially since it’s so “soon” after my accident.

Let me be perfectly honest about two things: 1) I don’t feel lucky about much these days and 2) the last few months since my injury have felt like an eternity, and I would never use anything like the word “soon” to describe the time elapsed since my world turned upside down back in July.

But this is where perspective comes in, and I thankfully recognized that this could be a learning moment. Instead of dwelling on my own challenges, I was being handed a golden opportunity to zoom out for a moment, to recognize that things could always be worse and to feel grateful for what I have. It was a perfect example of taking something negative and turning it into a constructive, positive experience. Yes I want nothing more than to be able to walk again. Yes I want to recover as quickly as possible and do all of the things I miss so much. Yes I feel like I’ve suffered enough already and have learned a lifetime of lessons in the last few months. But it’s important to maintain my perspective and always celebrate what I do have…