September 12 is a bittersweet day for me. Exactly 12 years ago today marks the last day of my “normal” life. It was the day I said goodbye to the life I loved and mistakenly took for granted. It was the day I lost my innocence and childhood.
It was the day I became a quadriplegic.
Every September 12, I go through a myriad of emotions; sadness, anger, confusion, happiness, appreciation, and determination. I am saddened because of all the things I have lost; experiences, time, abilities, and old friends. But I am appreciative of what I still have; family, new friends, health, courage, and determination.
I don’t ever get depressed as my anniversary approaches each year. I simply just reflect back on what I’ve been through and accept who I am and what has happened. It was a tragic event and my life was drastically changed because of it.
But it wasn’t going to change how I lived my life.
I am fortunate enough to have battled depression about my situation, and most people are surprised to hear that. I guess it is common place for people in my situation to go through bouts of depression. I don’t really know what to tell people when they ask how I’ve been able to keep such a positive attitude.
I just like to think that if I have to use so much time and energy on being sad and reclusive, why don’t I just use that same time and energy on staying positive and extroverted? Yes, there are times when I feel bad, but I don’t let it rule how I feel.
So today, I simply look back and remember with appreciation and acceptance. While I have said goodbye to the past and lost many things because of my illness, I say hello to my future and have found a new outlook on life.
One of hope, courage and perseverance.