There are countless self-help books, inspirational sayings, and religious mindsets on how a person should accept change(s). Changes can be big or small, but have some sort of effect on one’s life. It could be great, it could be disastrous, or it could be just a small shift on how you normally do things. Regardless, there is no single guaranteed way or method that helps all people accept change. Each person is unique and should find what works for them. The only constant in this crazy world we live in is: change. Change happens to everyone, every creature, and every environment. Embrace change or fall into obscurity.
“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” — John Wooden
Change can be rewarding, exciting, nerve-racking, and so much more. Such as moving to a new home, starting a new job, or experiencing a new relationship. However, the focus on this post is the negative changes when comes to health. Outlook on life can change in an instant when your health takes an unexpected plunge. It could be temporary or long lasting.
Often, change in one’s health can often lead to depression, frustration, anxiety, anger, and so much more. I empathize with many patients I treated in the past who had to accept a change in their health, whether it be mental or physical. Experiencing it firsthand is a whole other level.
There are countless stories about veterans overcoming hardships such as losing a limb, having facial reconstruction after severe burns to the face, and fighting the ever difficult PTSD beast. But of course, there are countless of untold stories of those who couldn’t accept change and succumbed to their hardships. There is no easy button to push that will make life all rosy. Giving up is not the answer either. A person has to accept what occurred because you can’t undo the past.
Keep moving forward!
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, “Keep moving forward. No matter how hard it may be, keep moving.” This quote and several others help me through my most difficult times I had to face. My health took a nose dive back in 2020 when my heart stopped working as it should during a simple run. After months of ongoing testing, medical treatments,and physical restrictions, I found out that I had a ticking time bomb in my chest in which an unknown genetic disorder could’ve killed me.
I ended up getting open heart surgery to correct the defect. Not even 6 months post surgery, I developed an unexpected inner ear infection, which cost me losing much of my hearing and ongoing balance issues.
I do not intend this to be a pity post, but a short telling of how, despite the odds, I am still moving forward with life and learning to accept my current limitations. So my heart condition and chronic pain syndrome (another long story) landed me to getting medically retired from the Navy. I was pissed. I wanted to continue to serve, but my body had other plans. Since retiring, I had to undergo more surgeries and countless medical appointments, including recently having a cochlear implant device to help with my hearing.
To say life has been shitty is an understatement. I can’t physically do what I could do anymore, having to take small steps with rehabilitation. Gone are the thoughts of “this should be easy, why are you being lazy”, “you’re kidding me, you can’t do a treadmill walk without stopping“, “why out of breath so soon” and other negative thoughts. But I had to push past all the internal negative thoughts, stop holding myself to old standards, and learn to accept my current limitations. I know things can improve as long as I keep at it by taking care of myself.
There are many other medical issues I am dealing with. I try not to let all of it overwhelm me, but I do falter and have to keep pushing forward. I can’t give into the demons. My family and friends keep me in check. They all contribute to my wellbeing. I know I always have support from them, but my biggest enemy is still myself. It’s a constant battle, but I take it one day at a time.
Never give up!
Through this insane roller coaster I have been on for several years now, I’m finally feeling that life is leveling out for me. Despite my current hardships, I count myself lucky I didn’t die that day my heart was difficult, I still have family and friends who support me, I have a job that allows me to still provide for my family and attend all my medical appointments.
Never give up! We veterans need to stick together and help each other out. We are all facing hardships in life. But we have to accept change; change within ourselves, and to find a way out of the darkness. There are countless resources out there to help us change for the better. The key is to ask for help and accept help from others.