By Mac Pomeroy
Having been born with numerous physical problems, I’m used to things being out of my control. These things include not being able to run or hear very much, the tumors that grow on my bones and, of course, the surgeries that come as a result. Many choices in my life have been out of my control, and even though it has always been like this, that doesn’t mean I’m OK with it.
Everyone experiences points in their life where things are out of their control. This doesn’t always come from unfortunate genetics like in my situation, of course. It can also include things such as death, a friend moving away or a common hangout location closing. Often, these changes aren’t welcomed, and they take a toll on our lives.
It can be difficult to cope with things that are completely out of our control. It can be frightening, confusing or even painful. But regardless, you can get through it. While there are steps you can take to help, it is first important to realize how strong you already are.
Often, it feels like we forget the strength of people. Yes, even in dark situations, people can usually find a spark of hope, a simple beam of optimism. For me, I remember a time when I wasn’t feeling so strong about my body.
I was young and didn’t know what I do now. I would often look at my peers and see them run or jump. I won’t lie, it hurt. I wanted to join them, but it was always out of the question. It was never within my own control.
After years of this negative behavior, I started to realize that, while my muscles and bones do affect my life, this is my life. My body has always been this way. I was not struggling to survive or thrive; I was already living.
Once you realize your own inner strength, you can focus on further coping. A key part of this is focusing on the elements in your life that you can control. Let’s back away from my own example and use a more general one. Perhaps a close friend has recently graduated and will soon be moving away for a work opportunity.
You can’t stop them — it’s their own life, and this is what will be best for them. However, there will be a noticeable gap in your life without them. They were a huge part of your daily life, and you frequently spent time together. You trust them greatly. While you can obviously text or video call, it won’t be the same.
The key thing to do is to focus on your life. As I mentioned, you can’t stop them. But you can schedule a time to study for your classes. You can find a new hobby. You will be able to decide what to do now that they are leaving.
This may sound vague, but it truly is all that you can do. When the situation around you seems out of your hands, you must focus on what isn’t. For me, I’ll never be ‘in control’ of my own physical abilities. It just isn’t meant to be.
But I’m in charge of my own mind. I’m in charge of what I decide to do with the abilities I have. And I can say for a fact it gets a lot better.
Things being out of our own control can be frightening. But remember what is in your control, and remember that you are strong. You will make it.