A How-To For a Life

This is the "why" and the "how." How do you handle the pain, despair, depression, frustration and all the other physical and mental problems (let's call them opportunities -- psychologically better, too) and then, follow the directions.

First, start with an explanation of the medical facts and an honest analysis of the physical ones that apply to you. This is where the doctors, nurses, practitioners and caregivers are so important. Share your problems, your needs, and your goals. You know these things and how they relate to you best. Despair and depression are "dead ends," so continuously tell yourself to stay away, it works, and to help examine the problems (opportunities), the symptoms, and possible realistic solutions. More about those problems to follow.

Be prepared because frustration, anger, personality problems come with the territory. Learning to face-up to a new existence is critical. And therapy, physical and mental. It's necessary to rebuild the body and the mind to operate acceptably to you and others.

Examining, learning and understanding the "why" and the "how" will bring success. Regaining self-respect and self-confidence will give the motivation and direction. And puts life into perspective. Understanding what's necessary and why, will lead to recognizing "road-blocks" and achieving success. Preliminaries done. Now let's get to work.

A. Take one step at a time. Take time? You have a lot to take. (Took me 30-40 years, but with today's medicine, it's more like 30-40 weeks.)

B. Do it over and over and over, until it works to your satisfaction. One week, one month, one year or more. It took me one year to talk, two years to walk properly, three years to talk coherently, five years to drive responsibly, ten years to hold a glass of liquid in my left hand (without spilling.) Just understand that you have to do it over and over and over, until you get it right! Time and perseverance. It's like climbing up a ladder. You first take small and hesitant steps, holding tight to the ladder rung above you. Then, as you progress up the ladder, you do the same, but quicker, easier, and it becomes quicker and easier. Like your life.

At times, the solutions will seem overly simple. They are. Because when you treat one problem, face one challenge at a time, all your attention and effort for a prolonged period of time is on that one opportunity. As you make progress and make improvement, fix on the single matter, all the other concerns like anger or that despair and depression or pain or bad stress or whatever, simply go out of your mind and then, amazingly, disappear.

Just follow the directions, they work. Examining, learning and understanding the "why" and the "how" of progress will speed your success. Read about it. Talk about it. Then do it! As the old song says, "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again." Regaining self-respect and self-confidence, gives the motivation and direction. Put life into perspective with everything else, understand what is necessary and why, and it will lead to recognizing and achieving that success.

And, when you feel badly, frustrated, think you can't do it anymore, things just won't work right, or arms or legs won't cooperate -- just think of those less fortunate, who have no arms or legs. You'll then make it work.

There are three more matters, necessary to make the "why" and the 'how" work. They're called listening, patience and work. And it's called learning about others and you. Listen to others and observe actions, and their problems. And listen to you. And physicians and professional advice. And nurses, therapists, It's what they've seen and been through. And listen to those around you, family, friends, and peers. What they know, see and experienced. Recognize, accept and select what is possible and right for you. Try it. If it doesn't work, adapt it to your needs. Rebuild the old and make the new. Often carelessness and irrational judgment and an irrational value of self will result. It is no more than being afraid of what is. Through trial and error you will come again to base judgment on reality. Remember, the old business adage: the first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time and the remaining 10% takes the other 90%. Patience. And remember that your work, your profession is important. You first think that this is great, the chance to get away from the "grind", the stress, the daily effort. Wrong. Reality is the opposite. And you need reality and discipline and stimulation to make your body and mind function together. Sure, it's tedious. So is life. But, let it.

Where do we go from here? You feel pretty good. You're physically well (reasonably?) Are you truly ready to live? And live a life? And how?

Ask yourself some hard questions:

Am I happy being me?

Is it better than not being counted at all?

Am I doing things capably?

Do I need to work more, for complete recovery (what's complete)?

Would I rather stay as I am...it's comfortable?

So, I'm not happy all the way...is that a crime?

And it's so warm and safe in here, my cocoon, let someone else make the choices; save the world. I've been through enough, why more?

And, the answers:

I'm not just the same. I'm a better person.

I'm a participant in life and productive.

I have stronger and more selective values.

I can do, accomplish things, better things, more of them.

I'm not, where I want to be yet, but I will be.

Stop thinking and just do!

It's time to make a difference!