I want to share something here specific to my personal experience and perspective over the past seven years since sustaining a spinal cord injury from a car accident that left me quadriplegic.
It is difficult not to take on a condition as an identity. We sometimes start to identify with our issues until we develop a form of apathy and entitled victimhood.
And when we are in deep physical pain and emotional suffering—feeling helpless, we expect others to cater to that, and they often do, enabling us to continue our dream of suffering. I realize this will trigger some folks, but again, this is my personal perspective. Please hear me out if you will.
There is a way out of your suffering, or at least a way to lessen it. And if you must suffer, then at least there is a way to find peace with it.
If you really want out of suffering, or at least to become functional, open your heart, open your mind. Be willing to move outside of your comfort zone. You could call it a leap of faith. Be willing to let go, and release old conditioning, habits, beliefs, relationships that aren’t serving you.
Be willing to ask questions—Is there a way out of this pain (other than dying unless it’s your time)?
Do I have to wait until some miracle cure comes along so I can feel better, or walk, or whatever?
Do I have to wait decades upon decades hoping?
Can I allow myself to believe that I can find the answers and healing in my own life, right now, today, rather than being in agony waiting for someone to produce the magic fix?
Am I attached to this suffering? Afraid to lose this suffering self, even as I say I want it gone? Am I afraid of who I can become if I let it go? Am I afraid to rise to the responsibility?
Yes, there is a way out of this pain. No, I do not have to wait for a miracle cure in order to make my life better today. No, I don’t have to wait decades to do something about improving my life today. I can empower myself, rather than waiting for others to find the answers. I have found many of the answers that work for me, and many are still unfolding.
Ask and it is given. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you.
With spinal cord injuries and physical paralysis come a host of issues. A few of these are intense, debilitating neuropathic and inflammatory pain, impaired bowel and bladder function, inflammation, swelling/edema, skin sores, lung congestion, loss of bone density, muscle spasms, low and swinging blood pressure, urinary tract infections, ingrown toenails.
Those in my situation are prescribed a host of pharmaceutical drugs early on, and while they are useful to a degree, I have seen them overused. They mask symptoms, suppress systems. To me, it’s as if plugging your ears when your body is screaming at you to listen. For example, with the use of opioid drugs, when the body receives up to a maximum prescribed dosage, the nervous system creates new pain receptors so it can feel.
What does that tell you? Your body is giving you messages, over and over again! And what do we do? “Shut up! Just go away!” we say. We are not addressing the root causes. We are just avoiding, suppressing, ignoring until the dysfunction can no longer be ignored.
I still use pharmaceutical drugs sometimes because they can be useful for managing some symptoms while you’re on your way to improvements.
My body is a complex organism, a very intelligent organism. And my tiny mind, the part of my brain that thinks in words and is educated, would do best to learn that that system is perfect. It knows what is needed, and I must reconnect to its language to discover its solutions.
Your journey is not going to be like mine. You may find your remedy through a different process than mine. But I am here to tell you that you do have options. The answers exist. Healing is real.
I have eliminated much physical pain through natural and non-invasive means. Now I am more functional. I know how to keep my bowels healthy even with paralysis. I rarely ever have a skin sore. My lungs are improving getting stronger, with very little congestion. Muscle spasticity is minimal. (I like some to keep muscle tone.) My blood pressure is more balanced. I very rarely have a cold or flu (though I do believe they can be good for us).
Is it all perfect? No. But life is so much better than two or four or seven years ago. I expect it to get better. I will keep going. Why? Because I like feeling good. I like feeling free. I like being at my best for the humans around me.
Joshua Brown suffered a broken neck caused by a severe car accident seven years ago, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. This has led him on a healing journey, learning how to heal in his own way, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Reprinted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Winter 2017 – 2018 Issue, copyright 2017. All rights reserved.