So what can I say that hasn’t already been said? I’ve been paralyzed coming up on 2 years on Tuesday. Which is hard for me to believe. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to walk. Of course they have me walking in therapy but it’s artificial. I still stare sometimes at people’s feet as they take steps and just wonder what that would be like if I could do that again. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to water ski even though it’s something I did my entire life. I’m starting to forget what normal was like. Like standing up and taking a hot shower and feeling the heat of the water all over your body. Or just simple things like going to the bathroom. I’m getting used to this new way of life. A life where everything takes a little more time and involves a great deal of patience. I’m used to not being able to get myself in and out of bed on my own. I’m used to relying on others for help. I’ve accepted that I’ve lost my independence. I’ve accepted this new way of life.
In 2 years I’ve gone from being depressed and lost and thinking that my life as I knew it was over to realizing that my accident was the defining moment in my life and made me change for the better. My injury has helped me realize that there is more to life than just what is physical. The mind is much more powerful than our physical self. There is so much more you can do with your mind than with your body. I think a traumatic brain injury is far worse than a spinal cord injury. My life without my mind would have no meaning. I’ve lost my mind twice in my life for weeks at a time. So I know what it’s like to lose both your mind and your body. I would much rather be in the state that I’m in now than to live the rest of my life suffering from delusions of grandeur waiting for someone to confirm that I really am the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. I’m grateful that I’ve experienced what it’s like to lose your mind because it makes me much more thankful that I have it today over my body. Plus, it gave me one hell of a story to tell.
I’m thankful for all the mistakes I’ve made because now I have the opportunity to make sure others do not do the same. My mistakes have led me to realize just what on earth I am here for. I’ve learned to stay away from all drugs. Don’t mess with your mind. You do not want to lose it. I learned that the hard way. I once thought that marijuana was harmless but in the end it is what led me to end up in this chair. I’ve learned that we are not invincible and life can change in a second. So be careful! It’s strange that on the night of my accident when I left that gas station and sped off through those backroads that I put my seatbelt on even though I felt invincible. That seatbelt saved my life because I definitely would have been ejected from the car after flipping 5 times. One of the guys that drives me to therapy lost his only son last year in a car accident. He was driving too fast and lost control of his car and flipped and was ejected because he was not wearing his seatbelt. He wishes that his son would’ve heard my story to see what could happen from driving recklessly. Maybe I could’ve saved a life. Hopefully I can save a life in the future.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I’m incredibly thankful that I’ve realized God’s plan for me in such a short time. I’ve met so many people with spinal cord injuries and most of them are lost and never figure out why such a horrible thing happened to them. I’ve met people who are still bitter 20 to 30 years after their accident. Acceptance was the hardest part of dealing with my situation. All I used to do was obsess over the idea of walking again. I thought I would never be happy living this way. It took hundreds of comments on Facebook from my friends telling me that everything would be okay and that I had a bright future ahead of myself. It took me being brutally honest and sharing my feelings and story through writing. It took me crying every day to my mom for that entire 1st year. Most of all it just took time.
My life is quickly transforming from tragedy into triumph. I see myself being more successful now than I ever would’ve been when I was able bodied. I’m a better person because of all that happened to me. Life gets a little easier every day and each day I come closer and closer to my goal. Things are falling into place very quickly. Yesterday I met with this lady from this agency that I’ve been working with and I explained to her my plans for the future. Now the agency is going to help me write a business plan and pay for the startup costs to start my own business. This is for public speaking, my book, and for grant writing.
I have had a tremendous amount of support since the day of the accident. I cannot thank my friends and family enough. Thank you for the prayers and the words of encouragement. Thank you for believing in me and for your continued support. I plan to pay it forward. I owe it to all of you.