If you base all your goals on getting back to where you used to be, you might be missing the opportunity to discover a new path. resources and know your rights.
4. “I’ve lost a limb. My life is over.” Are you still breathing? If so, it’s not over. I’ve been an amputee for 12 years – almost my entire young adulthood. Those years have been full of life. I traveled all over Europe, went to college, sang in a cathedral in New York, adopted a kitty and a puppy, learned to cook vegan food, fell in love, and so much more. And my dreams continue to grow each year. You are the only person who decides what limits get put on your life. Will there be tough and frustrating times? Yes. Your prosthesis will break on the only day you go for a hike without your phone. You will have to ask for help. You will have to do some things differently. People will make hurtful, insensitive comments or pester you with the same old questions. Yet, you are still the only one in control of what you will do with it all. As amputees, our challenges are very visible, but don’t forget the insightful words often attributed to Ian MacLaren: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” No matter what happens, as long as you are breathing, this life is yours to design. Feel the frustration, and then act anyway.
5. “I’m not doing it perfectly so I should just give up.” No one is doing it perfectly. As a recovering perfectionist, I need to regularly remind myself of this ultimate truth. One great way to remedy this thought is to be open and honest with everyone around you. Honesty is usually rewarded with honesty. In our society, we tend to lie to cover up our insecurities and fears. We all walk around saying we are fine. Own your story.
I highly recommend reading anything by Brené Brown to learn more about letting yourself be enough. Also, practice not judging others. Every time we put someone above or below us, we reestablish the pecking order in our mind and worry excessively about where we stand. Practicing radical compassion frees you to live in the real world and make genuine connections. Perfection is a myth. Clinging to it prevents us from allowing ourselves to make mistakes. I never would have relearned how to walk if I hadn’t allowed myself to fall. Did I cry tears of embarrassment and pain every time I hit the pavement? Yep. But, eventually, we stand back up. To me, getting where I want to go is worth spending a little time on the ground. Danielle Orner was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 15, and she spent a decade undergoing surgeries, scans and treatments. Changing her lifestyle revitalized both her body and spirit. A writer, actress and teacher, Danielle seeks to explore the difficult questions about identity, sexuality and recovery. Her first feature screenplay, Exposure, placed as a semi-finalist in the Francis Ford Coppola American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest. Visit her fan page for updates on her short films, silly vegan cooking videos, and wellness events. www. facebook.com/pages/Danielle-Orner/268506179923521?ref=hl Learn more about Danielle on YouTube at youtube.com/watch?v=tUk2dgRTOws&feature=youtu.be
MARCH 2013 Amp it up! magazine
The Health & Lifestyle Magazine for Amputees Who Want to Live More Fully