PTG: Alive and Well

I originally contributed this to New Mobility Magazine’s blog in October, 2010

Postraumatic growth [see August 2010 issue] is alive and well in my life. Four years ago I fractured C6 and C7. Presently I can weakly grip with both hands. Initially, all I could move were my eyes. I had two choices the day of my injury: to deny, resist, and be discouraged; or to accept, adjust, and move on. I chose the latter.

As a result, my spirituality rose to a higher level. Before SCI, I was searching, always knocking on God’s door. After SCI, I realized I already had God’s love all along. Before SCI, I was insecure and felt stuck in a marriage that I was too weak to leave. After SCI, I walked out of that marriage. Before SCI, when asked, “Who are you?” I had no answer. After SCI, I know who I am. I am a child of God, an intelligent, loving, strong, and patient individual who is never alone. Today I am grateful for the little things I once took for granted. Recently, for the first time in four years, I was able to open a bottle of water, and actually cried out of gratitude. It’s wonderful how little now makes me happy. Today I know my purpose is to serve, to give back all that I have been given, and to be a blessing to others. My SCI has helped me attain self-empowerment, and ultimately, comfort and peace.

Shelly Kerchner

Johnstown, Pennsylvania

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