I remember saying to a good friend how I should have started a blog when I was in the hospital. She said she is glad I didn't. I was really struggling with coping at the time and it probably would not have been good to keep a written record to look back on of that time.
I think now I am going to occasionally write little stories and experiences from my lengthy hospital stay after my accident. That time period had a profound effect on who I am now and, similar to my birthday post, I don’t want to ever forget about “my roots”.
After only a few weeks in the hospital, I started becoming restless. I was losing it.
“This is Shawshank, man,” I would tell my friend. I was referring to The Shawshank Redemption, an amazing movie depicting prisoners in the 1940’s. What I meant by saying that was that I felt like I was in prison.
In the movie, Andy Dufrense, played by Tim Robbins, is wrongly accused of murdering his wife and then sent to a maximum security prison. I also felt like I didn't do anything to deserve my situation, yet I was doing time.
Just like a prison, I had no privacy because nurses or other hospital staff members were always entering the room.
Just like a prison, I couldn’t go anywhere because the colored tag on my wheels said I couldn’t go past a certain hallway—until I got the prison equivalent of “privileges for good behavior” and was then allowed to go outside the hospital into the courtyard. I couldn’t leave.
Just like a prison, I had to stick to a schedule and for quite some time, had to eat simple mashed food (and drink thickened water, but I’m guessing they didn’t have that in Shawshank).
There was no way out. I was stuck. The Shawhsank Redemption was real life for me.
Recently, I was told that I’m still stuck in Shawshank. A short dialogue from the movie:
Andy Dufresne: That's the beauty of music. They can't get that from you... Haven't you ever felt that way about music?
Red: I played a mean harmonica as a younger man. Lost interest in it though. Didn't make much sense in here.
Andy Dufresne: Here's where it makes the most sense. You need it so you don't forget.
Andy Dufresne: Forget that... there are places in this world that aren't made out of stone. That there's something inside... that they can't get to, that they can't touch. That's yours.
Red: What're you talking about?
Andy Dufresne: Hope.
Red: Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.
Later, Andy says to Red, “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
Hope is stupid, I was also starting to think. It takes a lot of strength to keep hoping for things. It’s for the ignorant.
I had to be reminded that hope is a good thing. No good thing ever dies. Hope is what sustained Andy though his trials, and it is what got me through mine.
Once hope is lost, there is no middle ground. One may argue that one can simple accept things and move on, but if you can’t win something, you've lost it. You've been defeated. Hope doesn't mean being totally ignorant and believing things will be exactly normal and dreamlike. Hope means knowing that there is a capacity for things to change, to be better, and with this hope, one can use his/her abilities to work towards that.