by Adam Helbling on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 6:57pm ·
So you haven’t heard much from me in a while. Let’s just say I’ve finally been enjoying myself. Everyone who is in a similar situation as me has told me that the 1st year would be the hardest and it really was. From 2010 to 2011 I went from being on top of the world to being a miserable mess. All I could ask God was why he would do such a horrible thing to me. I spent many days arguing and crying to my mom trying to say that the good life is over and that things were not going to get better. In the mornings, which is my least favorite part of the day, I would scream and yell, shake the bed, and throw things. I just couldn’t take it. Every day I would wake up and it would just be another reminder that things were still the same. But I’m finally learning to accept my situation. I’m even starting to think that maybe in a way this was a blessing. I can’t say that this was the greatest blessing to me but I definitely can use this as a blessing towards others.
Maybe all of the suffering that I have experienced and that I continue to experience is all for the greater good. I could not imagine a more life-changing event. But I also cannot imagine something that could open my eyes this much. These days I have a completely different perspective on life than I used to. I know what is most important which is keeping the ones you love close to you, maintaining a positive attitude no matter what the day brings, and just letting go and enjoying yourself no matter what the situation is. Attitude really is everything when it comes to dealing with my situation. You have to be able to laugh about it and remind yourself of the big picture. I could be paralyzed or I could be dead. My work was not close to being finished here on this Earth. I was just getting started.
Some people have told me and that I’ve done more in my 1st 24 years of life than most people do in a lifetime. I have kept myself extremely busy throughout my lifetime. I would say that I knew how to live life to the fullest. I was always someone that would say yes to whatever the activity may be. Because of this I have one hell of a story to tell. Maybe I was moving too fast and maybe my accident was God’s way of making me slow down. Now I have time to reflect back and teach others from what I did right and what I did wrong. I know what made me happy before the accident and some things have not changed. Of course waterskiing put a smile on my face but also the company of friends and family. I can dream about waterskiing as much as I’d like but I need to remind myself that in the grand scheme of things it’s not that important. I accomplished enough in the sport and I think it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.
My dream was to own my own waterski lake and to own my own company that would build lakes. I wanted to call it a ‘Dream Lakes Construction.’ It was the sole reason that I chose my major which is Civil Engineering. I will graduate in less than 2 weeks and I’m totally focused on my new dream. My new dream is to help people realize just how fortunate they are to have their body and to motivate them to use it. Once I graduate on June 10th I will focus solely on my book and keep searching for public speaking gigs. I have already spoke twice and the response was extremely positive each time. I could not believe how comfortable I was in front of an audience. I even made a guy pass out already. I have 4 more speaking opportunities already set up. I was also invited to speak again in the fall because of the positive responses that I have received. There is even a possibility that I may be the main speaker for Greek Week next year at Ohio State which would be huge. I speak about my struggles with bipolar disorder and with my spinal cord injury. Both of which most people know nothing about. So I want to be the voice of these two groups. I still plan on using my degree to help people with spinal cord injuries. For example I want to build vacation rentals that would provide everything for people with spinal cord injuries so that they can travel easier. I want to make this a better world for people with disabilities.
So life now… I can’t say it’s easy but I can say it’s getting easier and it constantly is getting better. I have all the right people in place. I have my family and my friends that have been there to support me through it all. I also have an incredible girl that takes care of me and constantly reminds me how lucky I am to be alive and how much I still have to live for. She does everything for me and I can’t thank her enough. I also have an incredible nurse who always makes me laugh which is exactly what I need the 1st thing in the morning.
I’ve come to accept my situation and I’ve come to realize that there still is life after a spinal cord injury. I’m not saying that I’ve given up on therapy I’m just saying that whether I walk or not life will still turn out to be great. God left me with my mind which I would take over my body any day. Sure there is not a day that goes by where I don’t think about being able to walk or think about what I would be doing right now if this accident never happened. Now that it’s summer again I’m constantly reminded of all the things I did before my accident. This weekend my family went to our usual spot on the Clarion River where we would go camping and skiing. I find myself visualizing myself running through the slalom course or tubing up and down the river. I can picture the entire river in my mind. I’m just happy that I have those memories and that I was fortunate enough to experience all that I experienced.
Today I am in a great state of mind and I’m honest when I say that I am happy once again. I used to not be able to even sit through a movie without constantly thinking about my situation. Now my mind is finally at ease and I’m able to laugh and smile once again. I’m even starting to think that I will be more successful now that I’m in a chair than I would’ve been before my accident. Since moving back down to Columbus and moving into Creative Living I’ve been surrounded by people with spinal cord injuries. Some people are better off than you but others are far worse off. It really makes you appreciate what you have. For me I’m incredibly thankful to have my right hand. Try watching someone who has to be fed by another person because they do not have the use of their hands and then think about just how fortunate you are. And if these people can be happy with their lives then why can’t you?
We live in a society where we take everything for granted. We have no idea what we have until it’s gone. Take advantage of all of the gifts that God has given you. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Don’t be afraid that someone is watching you fail for the 1st time. Success comes with practice and hard work. You’ll never know if you enjoy something until you try. Never say that there is nothing to do. There is so much out there in this world to try. There are so many people to meet and laugh with. Surround yourself with good people and stay away from the people that bring you down. We only live once and it’s up to you whether or not you’re going to enjoy it. So keep a smile on your face, keep your head up, and take advantage of everything this world has to offer.