Day 258: What is Pride

It seems like forever since I’ve posted anything here. Not sure if I’ve just been busy or felt more comfortable in life but I have shifted a bit in where I am. By shifting I mean that I’m not an emotional cluster all the time. I don’t feel the need to vent as much and have been trying to find new outlets for my energy whether it be work, fundraising, etc. Not sure I have it nailed down or not but I feel like I’m closer than ever to finding a real outlet for what I want to do.

One thing I do want to talk about though is pride. We all have our different feelings and definitions of it. Some of us especially myself saw or see pride as being independent and achieving goals. By far I will say this has been my biggest roadblock in my journey. How do you have pride while having to rely on others constantly. It’s not something you can change at the flip of a switch but I’m getting there.

The biggest mistake I’ve made over the past few years is thinking that I was better off by not asking for help. For fighting through things that I didn’t have to and instead hurting myself along the way. As many of you know I lost the use of my right leg first. I have slowly progressed into my left leg. Over the years I fought using a cane or walking stick when I needed the support. Then further down the line I fought using a walker. By the time I got to needing a wheelchair I had realized what I had done. By holding onto my pride I had fallen and hurt myself so many times that I most likely accelerated the damage. By refusing to let go I had pushed my other leg so hard that I had hurt another limb. By refusing to accept who I am I had slipped 3 discs in my back and caused myself a life of permanent discomfort.

So, sitting back and looking at it was what I was doing really pride or just the disillusion that I could fight this disease? Even more likely is the fear of change and acceptance. The real key to this disease that I have since seen is not fighting it but trying to stay level or ahead of it. Every day we lose a bit of functionality and the key is to find out how to counteract that. If you can’t walk comfortably and without pain can you function better with a manual wheelchair? If you can’t push the chair manually anymore should you get a power chair? These decisions are hard but aren’t negotiable without pain of some sort whether it be mental or physical.

The moral of the story is that grunting through pain and doing things the hard way isn’t showing pride. Pride is best shown by acceptance of yourself and the limitations in your life. Pride is not only doing that but being strong enough to accept the help. Pride is pulling up your big boy pants and fighting to enjoy your life in lieu of fighting to stay at the status quo.

There is so much more to life than walking through it alone and when you learn that you can truly enjoy what you have left. Don’t be a victim of yourself and a disease. Being a victim of one is hard enough by itself.