re•sil•ience (ri zil′yəns, -zil′ē əns), n.
- the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched;
- ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like;
I am currently down in Brazil where I am waiting to get a second opinion regarding a bladder surgery that I might be entitled to. So resilience-learning has been a full-time business these days.
I am getting a master-degree in this resilience business.
I have adapted well to many areas but still have others to tackle, others issues related to my spinal cord injury. One of the consequences of this is the inability to control my bladder.
I have tried a lot of managing methods and I have been managing it with a suprapubic catheter for the past year. Not a very good method as I had a total of 7 UTIs this year and my bladder had now shrunk and it is the size of a walnut.
Due to that, I have been dealing with a lot of pain, anxiety and autonomic dysreflexia, that is another condition you are granted if your injury is above the TH6 vertebrae.
The last 2 months was definitely the hardest I endured since my accident. It’s been a bit tough. Mentally and physically. A big chunk of it I spent feeling sick and visiting doctors to try to sort stuff out.
The other thing that is keeping me in the survival mode is neuropathic pain. I have neuropathic pain every day. All the time. I have pain right now and it is very hard to control.
I have tried everything from Jesus Christ to sweet Mary Jane
and nothing seems to help. Conventional doctors keep prescribing me antidepressants and opioids. Gabapentin, lyrica, morphine and all other kinds of narcotics.
All these drugs, apart for decreasing the pain it also decreases my ability to be myself. This kind of medication gives me strong cognitive side effects and make me feel like a zombie. Literally.
All the hard achieved level of independence I have today, to live by myself, to work, to exercise, to socialize and to study seems to be lost when I take these drugs as I am not able to function. So I pretty much gave up on all of them. I stopped taking all the medicines.
I would much harder live in pain, be myself, and take a more natural approach towards it such as mindfulness, adapted yoga and exercise. Sometimes it works and these currently are the main types of treatments I am having.
Sometimes (most of the time) I take an even more natural approach towards it. I say fuck all to all the world and lie down in my bed and wait until it goes away.
I read books, I watch YouTube videos, I study, I work, I do what I can. It’s a very lonely experience.
Lonely not because you are alone, I actually got used it. Lonely because you kind of withdraws yourself from everything else.
Your friends call you to ask how you are and it kind of gets boring to repeat yourself over and over that you have pain and bring the conversation down. I think I had enough of that. So I am always fine. Even if I don’t do anything or go anywhere whenever I am trying to deal with it.
I have been trying to transform all these alone-times and setbacks into personal growth.
Learning how to cope with this made me gain confidence and be better prepared for life somehow. I don’t think I was born resilient. I definitely learned through exposure to adversity.
Adversity + resilience = personal growth
Every day when I wake up, I meditate for 20 minutes and with or without pain, I try to look up for the things I am grateful for, and one of the positive things I have is resilience.
I am grateful that I am getting the chance to learn all this.
Resilience has the capacity to sustain my good mood and hope throughout my shit days. It has changed the way I feel about myself and others. For the better.
And that is a good thing.
Focus on the good and lets move forward.
Be well folks.