If I Had Given Up
I often hear comments about the story of how I went on with life following a severe stroke at 35 during pregnancy. Some say it would have been easier to just have given up. In retrospect, I don’t see how this would have been so.
I was paralyzed on my left side, I had a newborn baby and a two year old son. I suppose I could have sat down in my wheelchair and refused to get up. I could have stayed in bed. I could have committed suicide. That would have been the easiest out for me, I imagine. Yet, I never even considered it as an option. The fact is, I am just the type of person who did not see a choice other than carrying on. I don’t think I am unique in this spirit as I have seen many people carry on after horrific life events. I did often wish I had not survived the emergency room or the operating room because in the early days of my recovery I thought it would have been easier than trying to rebuild my life.
I was motivated to carry on by my children. It would not have been easier to watch them grow up from a wheelchair or bed. I envision two toddler boys climbing into bed with their mother asking why she won’t get up. This would have been horribly difficult to deal with. Much harder than actually getting up and getting on with it, I think.
It’s possible I would still be in bed or a wheelchair twenty years later if I had given up. Sounds miserable to me.
When people suggest it would have been easier to “Just have given up”, is it because they have never weathered a horribly difficult storm? Is it just a convenient expression to convey how impressed they are by the full, rich life I have built following a health disaster?
Thank you for reading :)