What you can do, not what you can't — Scope | Disability forum
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What you can do, not what you can't

66Mustang
66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,141 Disability Gamechanger
edited July 2023 in Coffee lounge

I have two very elderly and frail relatives who are unable to do lots of things.

They have very opposite attitudes to life.

One of them deeply mourns the loss of their youth, always talking about what they can no longer do and wishing they were young and able again. They absolutely hate being old and are always complaining they can’t do things and on occasion have said they wish they weren’t alive anymore.

The other one is very philosophical, while they obviously wish they were young and able, they always are speaking about how important it is to appreciate what they still have and can still do. Whether that is a simple sit in the garden with a cup of tea on a sunny day or a visit from a relative or carer.

I thought maybe people on this forum with disabilities would perhaps fall into one of these camps as a result of their disability. Maybe people may even fleet between both of them? I know I do. I am often guilty of the former, but I am now trying hard to appreciate the things I can do rather than moan about what I can’t.

I used to moan a lot about losing my childhood and my teenage years and 20s which are meant to be the best years, now I only have the downward stretch to look forward to. And I can’t do stuff people take for granted like get a job, play sports, go out for a drive on my own, have a relationship, do most hobbies.

However I do have some good things about my life that others - even able bodied/able minded people - don’t have. Like a loving family, people to care for me, financial security due to hard work of relatives, I will never worry about having a roof over my head, and I try to appreciate little things that maybe others less fortunate than me can’t do like a walk with the dog or a drive to the shop.

Just wondering if this rings with anyone and whether you have had similar thoughts?

Comments

  • WelshBlue
    WelshBlue Community member Posts: 703 Pioneering
    Interesting post.  Thought provoking.

    I do sort of miss the 'old' me 
    The one who was out the door at 5 am, a full days work and then home, food and out the door either socialising or  wanting to earn more money doing tree work for others.  Everything was about working hard and playing hard.  

    Looking back later on I realised I missed out on so much with my family thinking everything was about what I could give financially ... when really a spin to the beach of an evening for an ice-cream would have meant as much as the latest trainers when they were young.

    All for nothing because my 'riches' had to be spent to live on for a couple of years

    I no longer mourn for the person who was physically and economically active, plus PTSD has stolen too many years from me  so now I try to live my life in the future until a trigger pushes me back .. thankfully I know now how to ground myself to get back here

    I do miss socialising and working in that enviroment of adrenaline everyday ... but compared to so many, I have so many blessings to count, that I take every day as it comes, the good, the bad and the excrutiating 

    ... it is what it is and life is too short to be spent looking back to things I can't change.

    I'm no longer the 'man I was' ... but I think I prefer myself now
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,141 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2023
    @WelshBlue thanks for the reply...I like everything you mentioned because I can agree or relate to it all...but one thing you said, "live life in the future", is something I have never heard before...but it is something I very much do, thinking about it. If someone said I am stuck where I am forever I think I would end it now, it's hope for the future that keeps me going as things can get better. :) 

    Interesting you say you prefer yourself now, do you think the person you were before still lays the foundation for who you are now, if it wasn't for your past self you would not be who you are now? Not sure if that makes sense or is a load of rubbish :D 
  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 44,019 Disability Gamechanger
    I think i do get fed up sometimes as there are lots of things I can't do now that I used to love doing. Such as going bowling playing pool  going to the gym 3 times a week. Going to work. Walking alot. 
    Now I can't do any of those with my spine and consultants pulled me out the gym. 
    So I can walk but not far unless my spines flared up then everything is out. 
    So now I just do what I can and make most of it. 
  • WelshBlue
    WelshBlue Community member Posts: 703 Pioneering
    66Mustang said:


    Interesting you say you prefer yourself now, do you think the person you were before still lays the foundation for who you are now, if it wasn't for your past self you would not be who you are now? Not sure if that makes sense or is a load of rubbish :D 
    It makes perfect sense my friend 

    I prefer myself now because I've got more time for those who really matter to me ... yeah the past has sort of laid the foundations for who I am now but because of the dark place I was in back then, my life was all about risky behaviour and excess.  Plus coming to terms with a physically abusive father, I could never be the father I wanted to be ... or should that be, the one I was perceiving myself to be ?

    To be honest, whilst I gave my family everything - I was still selfish.  Sobering when you've got to admit that.  That dying being 'manly' was better than coping with being ripped apart inside my head

    Thankfully some fantastic GP's, great CPN's, Psychiatrist and a couple of fantastic Clinical Psychologists have got me to where I am ... not forgetting a truly wonderful wife, son and daughter who have picked me up when I've fallen back into myself

    ... I haven't banished or vanquished my past.  I'll always be a survivor of paternal physical abuse and of rape in my early twenties

    ... but it's not my fault <<< and there's the difference between me now and 'then' ... allowing myself to believe it.  More importantly - to accept it ... and to finally start liking myself for being me, not who I was moulded into by others

    Out of the physical pain I live with or the mental anguish ... I would double up on the physical pain any day.
    The body copes ... the mind not so much

    I also miss washing my hair ... but that's the price I pay for growing up in the 80's and all the peroxide  :)

    Gotta keep smiling  
  • Lou67
    Lou67 Community member Posts: 6,029 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2023

    @66Mustang
    Thanks this made me realise the good stuff I do have in my life. Compared to what I don’t have anymore.

    I used to be out and about all the time, I never had a career but had a few jobs when my kids were young, just cleaning jobs then about 10 years ago worked in a cafe I loved the company always got a laugh.

    Fast forward to now, I have a few health problems that hold me back, but I’m able to get out a walk (I need to push myself lol)
    My daughter takes me most places I need to go. 
    I’ve got a good family and I’m so blessed with beautiful grandchildren.

    Thanks again for helping me realise what I do have now instead off what I don’t   ❤️


  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,141 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2023
    @Sandy_123 yes good for you for admitting you still get fed up, not saying someone is a better person for not getting fed up as it's only natural, I agree you need to make the most of what you have now

    @WelshBlue yep I would take physical pain over mental pain any day, though I have never experienced proper excruciating physical pain so I may change my mind if I had... :grimace:  

    Being "manly" is a good point and I think has been the downfall or at least a big hindrance to a lot of people I know. Women have a lot of protections in society now, in that people are not allowed to expect a woman to be "ladylike" etc... but men do not have the same protections as women... are still expected to be "manly". I personally just ignore it all but a lot of men don't and I find it sad. I think society is quite sexist against men but men are too scared to speak out for fear of being dubbed "not manly".

    @Lou67 glad you could relate to my ramblings
  • WelshBlue
    WelshBlue Community member Posts: 703 Pioneering
    Note to self ... don't go on forums just after having an EMDR session.  Thread killer #

    @66Mustang ... good points. 
    I like to treat everyone with the respect they show me.  Everyone gets a second chance ... but no third chance, no matter the gender.  After years of exploitation I can understand the protection of women ... but it's mis-coloured for me by a small minority who have to look for offence when none has been intended.  All genders included.  No matter their sexuality.  Until we can't have an opinion, let's all try to get along and laugh things off unless it's a hate crime.  Different ball-game then

    ... that said, I personally believe that women are the stronger sex.  Emotionally and putting up with physical pain.  

    Something I can do ... count to 10 and take a breath.  So liberating
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,141 Disability Gamechanger
    @WelshBlue

    I agree and do the same, don't care about someones gender, skin colour, whatever

    The thing is, if everyone had that mindset, we wouldn't need to have "equality" rules biased toward women or people of colour, etc, as everyone would get treated the same

    I guess its like all laws, we all need to follow them, because of the lowest common denominators in society!

Brightness

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