Tips for Coping with Being Paralyzed

April 23, 2019
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Do you need help Coping with being paralyzed?

Whether you have recently become paralyzed or you have been dealing with this trial for quite some time, it is important to have positive coping mechanisms to help you maintain your inner joy and to improve your overall quality of life. Here are some of the best tips we have learned when it comes to coping with paralysis.

Take the Proper Time to Grieve

Even if your paralysis has been with you for a while now, you may never have taken the proper time to grieve. The stages of grieving are:

  • Denial
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Acceptance

If you find that you are stuck in one of these stages, such as sadness or anger, reaching acceptance can require time, and it means allowing yourself to deal with the stage you are presently at and moving onto the next one.

Have a Regular Routine

It can take time to get into a routine, but once you are there, sticking to it can make the new way that you have to do things feel more ordinary. You may not be able to do what you once did or how you once did it, but you have a new system for getting out of bed in the morning, getting yourself ready, and going about your day.

Be Patient with Yourself and Others  

First of all, you have to learn to be patient with yourself. Whether it is taking you longer than you like to deal with the stages of grief or just longer than you like to get out of bed in the morning, you have to learn to let yourself go at your own pace. You can’t let someone else dictate how fast you can or should be able to do things.

You also have to deal with able-bodied people who don’t understand what you are going through. But if you spend your whole life upset with people who treat you poorly due to ignorance, you can’t fully enjoy your life and the time that you have to deal with other people. The adage that patience is a virtue takes on even greater meaning when you have to apply it to people who may not seem to deserve your patience.

Learn to Accept Help When You Need It

There are going to be times when you can’t do something on your own or when you don’t have the energy to do something today that other days you may be able to accomplish on your own. Don’t be afraid to accept or even ask for help. Some people may shy away from offering assistance because they don’t want to offer to do something that you can do on your own and give the impression that they feel you have a greater disability than you actually have. Other people, out of genuine kindness mixed with a little ignorance may offer to help you with things that you have absolutely no problem doing on your own. Either way, deciding when to accept help or say no thank you is up to you. Just be sure you don’t allow pride or a lack of understanding of your own limitations to cause you to reject assistance that you really need.

Talk It Out with Your Primary Caregiver

For many people, this is a spouse or another family member. It is important to discuss the amount of assistance you require, and what your caregiver needs in order to maintain his or her schedule. The dialogue is important for several reasons:

  • If you feel like a burden, you’re not going to ask for the help you need from the person who is most willing and able to provide it.
  • If your caretaker doesn’t get enough personal or recovery time, he or she may burn out or become resentful.
  • If you don’t discuss your needs, neither of you are going to get what you need or want from each other. But if you talk it out, you can provide the optimal support for one another and improve your relationship and your own personal lives.

It brings into focus what the proverb means that says, “Plans fail with no counsel, but with many counselors they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22 CEB) So make sure to sharpen your communication skills, especially if your paralysis has affected your ability to communicate in the way you once did.

Focus on the Positive

Take time to meditate on positive things each day. Think of your three greatest blessings and meditate on those. If you are religious, praying to show your appreciation for those good things can bolster your faith. If your faith includes a positive hope for the future, reflect on that and imagine yourself enjoying your life with your loved ones under better circumstances.

Be sure to reflect on the good that you can still accomplish now, despite any limitations you may be dealing with. Reflect on inspirational stories of others who have thrived despite having to cope with paralysis. That is what this site is all about - providing support and hope for those who are dealing with this trying health condition.

We hope that the tips in this article are able to help you better cope with your paralysis, and we encourage you to continue to check our blog for the latest articles that provide practical tips, encourage hope, and strive to help you and the millions of other coping with this trial to thrive with paralysis.  

Also, I want to encourage you to check out our Free E-Books by clicking the images below:

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About the Author: Bill Davis

Dr. Bill Davis survived a spinal cord injury on November 26, 2011. After years of hopelessness he found a renewed purpose and is now on a mission to share hope and healing with the paralysis community for the glory of God.

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