Bouncing back, overcoming adversity, being strong, taking the punches, quick to recover…RESILIENCY.
Merriam Webster defines resiliency as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”.
However, what does that really look like and what does it take to make it happen?
Last summer, my husband and I were in a motorcycle accident. We both flew off of the motorcycle at about 55 mph. In all honesty, neither one of us should be here right now. Although we both suffered extensive injuries such as skull fractures, facial damage, and internal injuries, we both, fortunately, were able to get medical care quickly enough to stabilize us and eventually get us on our way to recovery.
The first few months were rough. It was difficult to simply walk down the driveway to the mailbox, take a shower, make simple decisions such as what to have for lunch or what clothes will be most appropriate for today’s weather. Even now, looking back at it a year later, it all seems like a daunting task that we undertook.
Once we were finally feeling well enough to go on “outings,” there were times when we would run into acquaintances, and they would say “Wow, you guys are looking really good,” or “you guys must be strong to have come this far in your recovery.” Although, we were thankful for the positive words, it made us think about what it really means to bounce back or to be resilient. Frankly, neither one of us felt very “strong” at that time. All we were doing is putting one foot in front of the other – just like Kris Kringle and the Winter Warlock sang about in “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OORsz2d1H7s).
Things have changed for both my husband and me since the accident. I think what was most beneficial in the healing process is that we realized we had to accept that there will be a new norm. I will always look a little different and my husband will always have some physical limitations. We also learned that trusting in each other was very important and in a way, it helped us to become even closer. We found that keeping a positive attitude helped us to laugh at those things that we could not change and finally, we truly realize that there is much more to life than the daily everyday tasks such as a clean house, perfectly trimmed lawn, and a perfect meal on the table every night. We found what really matters is family, friends, laughter, and appreciating the beauty in the world.
There is a quote that really hit home for us by Steven Goodier: “My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.”
The only thing I would have changed if I was the author of that quote would be to change the last sentence to say: “What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to APPRECIATE the present.”
It was not an easy journey, but we remain in awe of how strong a person’s body and mind can really be if needed. It all comes down to how you perceive and interpret your situation, and what you want the outcome to be.
Lisa joined Empathia in 2015. As an Account Manager, she provides account management to a wide variety of client companies. She also has healthcare and supervisory experience, and is a team member for one of our Disaster Response Call Center subgroups. Her previous role at Empathia was as a Network Provider Care Assistant. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management.
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