Tips For Coping With SCI

This article contains a video
Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via Wheels2Walking
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

Richard Corbett is a wheelchair user with a spinal cord injury. Based on his experiences, Richard shares entertaining and educational videos for those who are newly injured on his YouTube channel Wheels2Walking.

In the video above, Richard shares the following tips on how to cope with a spinal cord injury.

Don’t Deny Your Feelings

“Don’t deny your feelings,” says Richard. He goes on to state you are dealing with an unknown future so all the feelings of anger, sadness, resentment, etc. are justified.

“Literally all the plans you had for your life are changed. You’re probably going through something that even able-bodied people have never had to go through in their life and will probably never go through in their entire life.”

Try Hard

A spinal cord injury opens you up to a whole new reality. Richard’s advice is to “Find out what you need to do and try hard.” Whether it is working hard in physical therapy, figuring out your bowel or bladder program or mastering your transfers find out what you need to do and try your best.

Connect With Others

“Surround yourself with other individuals who have similar challenges and struggles,” says Richard. Learn from those around you. Richard suggests searching hashtags on Facebook such as #wheelchair or #paraplegic to find people to follow and learn from.

“You’re going to learn tips and tricks from them that you would not learn on your own.”

Don’t Abuse Substances To Deal With Your Injury

Richard admits he struggled with this piece of advice post-injury. He says turning to drugs and alcohol to deal with your injury is the easiest way out but it is also the most destructive.

Talk It Out

Much like his advice to not deny your feelings, Richard encourages others to talk about your feelings. He suggests talking to friends and family or other people with spinal cord injuries as they can relate to what your experiencing.

However, Richard states to not make your challenges the regular topic of conversation. He advises that if you reach a point where you feel like no one understands you seek a professional therapist or counselor that you feel comfortable with.

Get Into A Routine  

Richard’s next piece of advice is to get into a routine. By creating a daily routine you can put the challenges that may occur throughout the day in the back of your mind.

“Get into a routine. Find a rhythm. Find your new normal.”

Jump to 4:36 in the video to hear Richard talk about the importance of creating a routine and how his daily tasks became easier by doing so.

Be Patient

“Yeah you got hurt in a day, but you’re not going to be able to get back to where you were in a day,” says Richard. Be patient with your recovery. Richard states it is all about the small victories. He tells his viewers to set goals for themselves and slowly work towards those goals. It does not matter how fast you achieve them, just as long as you progress.

Try New Things

Richard’s last piece of advice is to try new things - don’t be afraid of failure.

“Failure is not a failure unless you fail to learn something from it.”

Richard stresses to his audience to keep trying new things and keep moving forward as that is how you grow as a person. A spinal cord injury is a life long thing so learn ways to adapt to it and live your best life.

Share this post with someone who is newly injured!

See more Stories About: 
Life SkillsCoping