Coping Disability ~ Online Course
The Joy Of Coping: Overcoming The Stress of Dis-ease
This course is for those struggling with the dis-ease. Lessons support and guide learner to reclaim their dignity and life after a debilitating illness has occurred. Lessons can also help caretakers, spouse, and family of a disabled or seriously ill person better understand and support their loved one.
Coping with a Different Life
By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D. ~ Therapist and Brain Tumor Survivor
I am not perfect, but then, who is? I have asked that question many times since my brain tumor surgery. The answer is always the same, "What's perfect? In my eyes, you are great," claims my wife, my sister and my daughters," and my soul echoes in, "I love you."
Living with a physical disability has moments of difficulty, as well as times of happiness. There are moments when I want to die erased by times when I want to live. It's a mixed up world, but that's life! I experience balance difficulties even with my walker, but joy creating poetry and dancing with my walker and with a playful partner. I, like many other physically disabled persons have encountered many obstacles and many moments of joy. These interactions are the usual spiritual experiences following the onset of physical disabilities.
My life after the brain tumor and other neurological problems has changed. Coping with my disabilities meant developing a new life, an existence that was in accord with my spirit rather than with my medical diagnosis. I had to prove to myself that I am not my weak body, rather I am a man, who as a therapist, who could help others and who could write poetry. I am creative and a spiritual human being who enjoys other spiritual human beings.
Coping with a different life is an endless passionate journey. The path is at times smooth and at times rocky. I have nightmares about tomorrow as well as sweet moments I enjoy today. I must resist the tendency of some people to disable me by their actions and by their visions of me. I have committed myself to live and to resist the temptation to be depressed. I find that joy provides greater energy than does sorrow.
My poems are about both fear and happiness. The poems display my beliefs as I have lived them. I believe that our tenets about our disabilities imprison our abilities to move beyond them. However, at times my negative thoughts overwhelm me. At those times, I give myself five minutes of self pity before I compose another poem.
Finally, I ask the question, "Why me, why did I incur a disability which would weaken my body?" And God answers, "You are you and you will live as long as you live." There is no spiritual purpose to disability. It is not a punishment for some wrong I have committed. My soul, speaking for God tells me that I am not ready to die.
The new life I seek to build is lively, it is animated. In my mind I see trees moving and colorful leaves dancing. I enjoy conversing with others. I greet them with a lively, "Hi!" And they return my greeting. I feel invigorated and energetic. I have a cat and a dog. Their loving playfulness, their kisses and their rumblings give rise to an uncontrollable joy. Each day I feel I am giving to others and they return the giving. Life is transitory. I will enjoy life while I am here.
Arthur Soissons-Segal, therapist and brain tumor Survivor, is the creator and instructor of The Joy Of Coping: Overcoming The Stress of Dis-ease. Learn more about Art and his course here.
Copyright © 2005 Arthur Soissons-Segal. All rights reserved.
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