Thursday, September 13, 2007
Disability Blog Carnival #22: Resilience
Welcome to the 22nd edition of the Disability Blog Carnival! In honor of this being the 22nd edition, I have for you twenty-two posts on the subject of: Resilience. I have loved reading all of the posts submitted and in doing so I have learned quite a bit about the things that make people resilient. There are people who use humor or call on their faith in God. Their are those of us who adapt, persevere, adjust their perspective, come to accept, see beauty, find joy. Fasten your seat belts, because you are about to meet some incredible people.
My favorite method of coping is using humor, so let's start there. Stephen from Planet of the Blind writes Sauna Talk and Powerchair Diaries writes Conversation With A Crazy Kid. Both of these posts are about intrusive people asking intrusive questions...sigh. Dave Hingsburger is over at Chewing the Fat. I read his blog every day and many of his posts are about humor and resilience, but I especially like this one about the time he unexpectedly made a little money and then needed to quickly "restore balance to the universe."
Let's move on to those who wrote about using their faith to hold them up during times of adversity. Larissa is one of the writers at Pray For Ian. Her boyfriend Ian was seriously injured in a car accident nearly a year ago, and she writes about Dating Ian after the accident. Even though our life situations are very different, I could really relate to what it's like to watch someone you love lose skills and change into someone you hardly recognize. I was encouraged by reading this blog and reflecting on the faith it takes to continue to hope while you are supporting someone to recover after a significant illness or injury. Next is Spin Cycle Resilience from Lessons from the Laundry. “Ahh, but maybe there lies the secret of the resilience; I had to look in the face of adversity for a bit, check out the wrinkles, creases and zits, and say, “You may be ugly, but I’m not afraid,” and “I won’t let you consume me,” and “I’m turning you over to God.” Good stuff! Bonus: just by coincidence, she uses the example of a resilient spider (just like my Blog Carnival logo.)
The ability to adapt, adjust and change course a little bit are important aspects of resilience. I write This Thing Called: Resilience which is an introspective look on the question, "Am I resilient...or not?" Pitt Rehab writes: "Resilience also impacted my personality. I needed to become much more patient with myself and others. I needed to give myself permission to let others complete task for me. Learning that I could contribute in many ways not just physically." Wise words. Bipolar Works writes in Super Human Extra Special, "It seems to me that all this extra physical and mental exertion required to just get through the day as a disabled person means that some of us have developed super human extra special skills that could be used to our advantage in other areas of our lives e.g. work, study, friendships and relationships." Here! Here! Alice is a parent who writes on her blog Ups and Downs, Yuck! I've Had Enough of Learning Curves. I think they call these AFOG experiences: Another F'ing Opportunity for Growth.
Then, there are those of us with a fighting spirit who really know how to persevere and then write about it. Check out Ettina's blog Abnormaldiversity and her post: Resilience and also Wheelchair Dancer's post where I love this quote: "Now I think of resilience as being akin to the willow tree: bendy but not necessarily springy. Most importantly, however, the tree just settles where it is. It doesn't need to come back to the same position every time."
Resilience often involves a shift of perspective and even seeing the beauty. Read Emma's poem, It Doesn't Have Me and Connie's, Thank Poetry for His Resilience. Kevin is a proud dad at Left Brain/Right Brain who started something beautiful when he posted a video of his daughter with autism and received hundreds of responses. He writes, "The song ‘Beautiful’ was specifically chosen because I believe that my daughter is beautiful. I also believe that that fact that she is autistic helps contribute to that beauty."
Through my reading I discovered just how much an individual's resilience can go up and down. Depression can strike any of us. Check out Tokah's post: He's Depressed. I Married Him. Over at Breed 'Em and Weep, Jenn has written an excellent post called The More You Know! which could be the perfect public service announcement on what not to say to someone who is experiencing depression. That post is going to stick with me for a very long time.
Are you still with me? Great! How about some joy? You can go about Taking the Advanced Course from bouncy three-year-old Frances or from Wheelie Catholic Ruth in her post, Resilience is About the Joy of Living. See? I told you that you would meet some incredible people.
How about a little acceptance people? On Autism Vox you can read, What qualities does the parent of an autistic child need to have? Acceptance is right up there! Sunny Dreamer writes about her seizures, "They'll come when they come and be over when they're over. The best I can do is not fight them like I used to, and the aftermath won't be as bad."
I hope you've enjoyed this carnival as much as I have. To finish things up, here are some entries with examples of some very resilient folks. Let's start with Franklin Delano Roosevelt who Lorraine writes about in The FDR Principle. Danielle is a medical student at 6YearMed and she wrote, It Is Well (which made me cry). Last, but not least, is Dr. Rob from Musings of a Distractable Mind who gives several examples of resilient people he knows and then writes, "It seems to me that the pain we may fear the most may actually free us from the anxiety we are so trapped by. It seems to me that resilient people have discovered that secret. They understand that pain is simply a normal part of life and so it does not hold them captive in fear."
The next Disability Blog Carnival is on September 27th at Pedestrian Hostile.