I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on the accident and the lessons I learned in the wake of my recovery. My short list of lessons follows:
1. For better or worse can get pretty bad
2. Friends and family are all that matters when you’re laid up in bed.
3. Take your time.
4. The human body is amazing at healing.
5. A lack or purpose leads to depression
6. I take things for granted everyday
However, the biggest takeaway for me through this experience is there are advantages to asking for help. I like to be self-sufficient, but I’ve learned that relationships are developed, and strengthened, when you rely on friends and family to help you. I remember hearing that is you want to make a good friend, don’t offer to help them in a situation; instead ask them to help you. I experienced this truth while recovering from my fall.
I have never felt so vulnerable in my life. I was on the sleeper sofa in our living room for three weeks! I couldn’t feed myself, bath myself, or move for the entire time. It was the most embarrassing, humbling and challenging experience in my life. For someone who likes to be independent, having to rely on others for literally everything in life was torture. However, through the process I can honestly say I learned something along the way. Asking others for help was a great way for them to feel needed and special. The process of needing help wasn’t so much about me, but about those around me.
As a parent it is difficult for me to ask my children for help. After all, as the parent I should be providing help for them not asking for it, or so I thought. By asking my kids to help me with breakfast, get dressed, walk to the restroom etc, I found a new sense of our relationship. My youngest daughter, Juliette, and I binge watched the Umbrella Academy as she would get water and ice for me when I needed it. The bonds that we made during this time was significant. My son was my caregiver for the weekend my daughters and Bonnie were out of town. Seeing him take that role seriously and without complaining was humbling to me and made me proud of him. We bonded over Netflix and pain pills.
I’ve been told you can look for a silver lining in all situations. As I reflect on the pain of the accident that I had in July, the joy that my family and friends brought to me leave me with warmth in my heart. I feel like George Baily in It’s a Wonderful Life. Once I took my eyes off myself and was able to observe the adults around me, my heart filled with joy. My sincere hope is that my experience may help you find joy in your loved ones as well.