To err is human. “The only sure way to avoid making mistakes is to have no ideas”, Albert Einstein said.
Loss begets pain, but pain is not one-size-fits-all, so there are no recovery methods that work in all situations. We do have at hand, however, explanatory models of pain, studies that dismantle myths about grief and, above all, "a psychological immune system" that helps us recover from painful experiences.
It is often said that circumstances are not decisive for success or emotional fulfilment, but this seems so far from our immediate reality that it has lost its credibility. Maybe that’s why we are amazed by people like Anna Jarmics, who managed to see and enjoy the bright side of life, despite the tragedies she experienced.
At 28, the world was hers. Ellie Finch Hulme was engaged to the man of her dreams, and a lifetime of experience lay before her, like an open field in which one could run freely in any direction. Then came the diagnosis.
From a certain point of view, our life can be divided into moments when we have let circumstances determine our future, and moments when we have gone where we wanted to go, despite the circumstances.
The question, "Is the end of something better than its beginning?" nuances the statement of Solomon, who is considered in the Bible the wisest man who ever lived.
Close your eyes, cover your ears, and imagine that all your life you will need to get by without being able to see or hear much. Perhaps merely imagining this makes you shiver, and in no way can you associate such a life with joy, independence, or travel. Tony Giles is one of those people who has managed to successfully remove all these prejudices.
Change is the only constant in life, especially the kind that comes unexpectedly and makes us believe that we cannot give in to it without giving up on ourselves, or turning into something we are not.
Most of us have been urged since we were little to not give up, to carry on, and to “go our own way”. The idea that giving up is a negative choice, a synonym for failure, or a sign of cowardice or inability, is deeply embedded in our minds.
I was a young student looking for a good paying job to support my family and my studies. On that day, I found myself in the head nurse’s office at the nearby nursing home for the elderly.
When I was four years old, my younger brother was born. My parents focused on my brother and spent less time with me. It was only 40 years later that I discovered how this had affected me.
On the morning of the 15 November 2016, I awoke in a hospital bed, with no memory of how I got there. My favourite pyjamas had been torn from my body, and I lay in a hospital gown, a piercing pain in my head, impaling my brain. I was barely able to think and incapable of speech. I was scared, though this was no surprise. My new normal comprised of regular hospital visits and multiple near-death experiences. I was trapped in a routine of near-monthly sprints to the emergency room, and days of recovery. Death was a very close neighbour.
When strangers give you a helping hand after your friends have forgotten about you, the world suddenly seems a little more beautiful. This was the experience of PJ Robins when a crowd of strangers suddenly arrived at the party for his autistic little girl, which no one else had wanted to attend.