As I sit here, reflecting on , it is hard to remember that man. It’s been a hard year, so let’s skip the particulars. I have suffered, and strived, and I have gotten better. It’s not necessarily true that time heals all wounds. The thing with a wound is that in time it either heals, or it festers. The body wants to heal, but what can we heal when we are now half the man we used to be?
As I sit here, I am wearing a mechanical ankle brace that allows me to walk unassisted. I am wearing a wireless charger positioned above a battery embedded in my right buttock. This device warms my skin with its magnetic charge, and provides me with several more days of electrically stimulated pain management. I frequently modulate the frequency of my nervous system with a remote-controller I am loathe to misplace.
As I sit here, I do not feel posthuman, but the wires in my spinal cord beg to differ. The bottom half of my body is largely held together by stainless steel. I have to be charged, oiled, maintained. These foreign bodies in my familiar body create some semblance of what used to be normalcy. I now feel normal in my abnormality.
As I sit here, I wonder about my well of emotional energy. It didn’t dry up. It wasn’t really a well after all. There is no limit to human tenacity. People weather impossible odds everyday and the Jeffrey of a year ago was no different. The Jeffrey of four years ago committed one rash act, but he survived despite the odds. This accumulation of wires, bolts, and hinges is also the culmination of the emotional and mental work it has taken to create a person who is more whole than he has ever been. I am sometimes remiss in remembering that I am that man made whole.
As I sit here, I know that I am the man that persevered. It was me who defied the odds and stood up. I fought for years to relearn to walk. I advocated for my own needs and I received the care I needed. I adapted. I changed myself inside and out to improve my new normal. Today I feel limitless, and am open and receiving to whatever life’s next challenge is. I trust in the resilience I have learned.
Read more of Jeffrey’s great writing on his blog.