By Guest Blogger Wayne Connell, Founder and President, Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA)
I am sure you have heard of the phrase, “Well at least you have your health.” People use these words as encouragement after a tragedy or loss of a friend or loved one or maybe even for themselves. Yet, what if you don’t have your health? What if life has thrown you a curve ball caused by illness or injury? What if your body went from healthy to having a disability, sometimes suddenly?
As with any loss, a person whose life is changed by tragedy and disability usually experiences the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
The question lies in how does one move toward acceptance when his or her world has been rocked by illness or injury? I believe it is found in the word “hope.” What is it? Merriam-Webster defines hope as: “to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true.” It seems like a platitude: “Let’s all hope for better days.” What if better days never come? Can we still have hope? I say, “Yes!”
I believe hope is really an action and not just a feeling for something better. Hope is looking at the difficulties of life and still smiling. Hope is when someone in unbearable pain comforts someone else going through a difficult time. Hope is when someone with a disability does something amazing that seems to be insurmountable. I think of Mandy Harvey.