The first few months after being diagnosed or coming to terms with a personal injury can feel very daunting. The questions why me and feeling like you’re the only one is normal. This is also often the case for your family members, those who are close to you. Kai Gill shares his own experience and advice to those who may need it.
Well, that is all the normal feelings to experience, but, most importantly you are not alone. Imagine meeting other people just like yourself, sharing advice and your stories will feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Those individuals may become friends for life and help you get through the beginning stage of why me. It is normal to feel like you want to be left in a room by yourself, but, trust me that does not help at all. It only makes things worse, speaking to people like yourself will cleanse those thoughts of why me and over time you will think: Okay this is me, I’m going to go out there and achieve some dreams.
We are very fortunate to live in a world, in an era where we can source vital contacts and social media groups. There are many charities and local groups in the United Kingdom who have the right people, even those who have faced and handled the same scenario as yours.
After being, diagnosed at the age of 13, I was so fortunate to be put in contact with people the same age and similar condition as myself. The same was for my parents who were able to speak to other parents and share advice, even try and answer questions they have. This really did help me and my parents come to terms with the future, how to prepare for it, living each day like it’s a new day and making memories to treasure forever. Just from once a month spending a weekend with friends who have a similar condition helped me talk about questions I had that I perhaps didn’t know who to ask. Even now at the age of 23, I still ask some people on Facebook groups who have the same condition as me questions about something I’m experiencing. It really does put your mind at rest.
It may seem strange, but I thought after being diagnosed, about my future, I always wanted to have a family meet the woman of my dreams and thought it would never happen. But, from speaking to people like myself with the same question I still can meet the person who accepts me for me and have the family I’ve always wanted.
Just from a simple search on Google or Facebook, you will find many forums and groups of people sharing and answering each other’s questions about their diagnosis. It can all lead from a simple message saying hello, your name and I’ve just either being diagnosed or suffered a life-changing injury. From hearing other people’s stories, you then know you are not alone and that light at the end of the tunnel is a lot closer than you think.
Finally, do not be afraid to speak to anyone. I know from experience keeping those thoughts and questions you have close to your chest isn’t the right option to take. There are so many going through the same experience as you… get in contact with them.
By Kai Gill
Hull & East Yorkshire Powerchair Football Club