There was a TV movie by the name I’m Not Dead Yet which was about a guy who finds out he has a rare heart condition that could cause him to die at any moment and he decides to start speaking his mind and live life to the fullest.
No matter how badly I struggled initially when diagnosed as being visually impaired, including the days where I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed, my inner voice kept telling me not to give up because “I’m not dead yet.” That would be the only time to forget about any future.
It is natural for anyone discovering that they are facing a serious illness to feel such complex emotions as anger and depression. It is hard to accept, and often the medical establishment does not support patients with the psychological tools to best deal with their new distressing reality. In my experience with visual impairment there appears to be a total lack of emotional support.
Yet having strategies to feel empowered even in the face of distress is the difference between living life to the fullest, or waiting around to die.
When asked the hypothetical question “What would you do if you only had a year left to live?” most of us would fantasize about joyful activities we have always wanted to do but never had the chance. We would list exciting ideas like skydiving or snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef.
Yet most of us suffering with long term health problems don’t have a clear cut end point. All we know is that for the rest of our life we will have to contend with ill health or maybe even a disability. I know I wasn’t willing to live the remainder of my life dictated to by my disability.
When we’re ill we obviously have to follow whatever medical path is determined best for us, but our mind and spirit need healing as well, and this is often overlooked.
Yet considering that our mental disposition often creates our worst pain and biggest problems, it happens to be the one thing we actually have control over.
For a time after the loss of sight from my right eye I was floundering for months, trapped in negative emotions and unable to make any sense of what was happening to me.
My whole world had seemed upside down and I had begun to believe life would never be the same again with my future just seeing me fighting against ill health and my disability.
Although it saddens me to think of the time wasted in an emotional rut, once I fully committed myself, not only did my life drastically improve, but so also did my health.
I thought of a TV program that I am watching, about a Viking warrior, who regularly gets injured, but demonstrates that a wounded warrior gets up, in spite of his wounds, and moves forward again, and again, and again until he tastes victory.
There are really only two choices for you to make. You can stay depressed and complain about your problems till the end of your life or you have the option of trying to make most of your life even with all your limitations.
Which choice do you make … to give up or fight back?
You have to believe, no matter where life finds you right now, you have hope for your future.
Hope is the light that can show you the way forward. Hope reveals to you a higher purpose and new direction in your life. When you have hope, you are better able to recover and heal.
A traumatic event can make you feel devastated. You may feel you are in a dark tunnel far away from the life you desire. Things may be so bad for you right now that you feel like you want to give up. But hope ensures you won’t give up instead it makes you better able to dig yourself out of the situation you face today and get past the difficulties.
Hope makes sure I’m not dead yet.