Motivating someone is hard. There are too many 'thought leaders' out there telling everyone who'll listen, 'If I can do it, anyone can!'. But it doesn't work for those who've lost everything. Here's how to motivate those who REALLY need it.
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I saw some rehab specialists today. First time I had actually, which is surprising, given how many different aspects of my life have been compromised by my Graft Versus Host Disease.
At least with that, I had an end in sight. Something to work towards. And at least in that, I had my mind on my side.
Facing long rehab? Like you're just trying to get up and out of bed for the first time in hospital, or for the first time in a while when you're depressed, rehab?
Do those exercises that seem to take everything out of you in the evenings, or mornings, when you're about to shower anyways, or do it right after food, when you're most energetic. Get the pros to help you. Get them, or get others who know (the internet and chat rooms can be a great resource to help you do this), to give you the easy ways of doing things. The rehab physicians I saw today gave me exercises to do while sitting down at a chair! Perfect for not just my cramps, but my exams coming up soon (God help me).
Ask a friend to help you, commit to something you can't easily skate out of, and you get others on your side in this battle.
Indeed, if you're in a position where you're trying to help someone, get them someone they can look up to! Someone who may have been through something similar to them. You may not be able to fathom what they're going through (and I believe this doesn't mean you can't help), but there will always be others who can! And they can help so much... That was certainly the case for me... When I was going into my first bone marrow transplant, I was terrified deep down, until I saw someone who'd been through it too. Just seeing them gave me a sense that this could be okay. That the pain and misery in my future did have an end point. And the chats we had throughout it, the tips and tricks and encouragement she gave me just stuck more. There are so many tools out there, set up by the government, hospitals, foundations and just the internet that connect people together. Even if you can't find the right words, right away, someone out there can!
But it's when I'm pushing myself too hard that I do this. When I tell myself "Anything's possible" and set myself on something that, halfway through, feels impossible to me, I lose hope, and feel like giving up.
Which is why acknowledging to them, or yourself, that there will be hurdles, obstacles and failures along the way; that your goal may take months, or years to accomplish is so important.
It's why telling them, that their goal, their deepest desire may not be fulfilled isn't disheartening. Because giving a shot and trying, even if it brings only small comfort will still matter, if not to them right away, then to those they love.
It doesn't discourage you, if done right. If these are acknowledged, but you're also given ways of getting through those hurdles, or at least, assurance that help and friendship will be there when trouble comes, it actually makes you more likely to succeed.
And I guess that's at the heart of what I always try to say.
Do I believe you can do anything you set your mind to?
Well, if you're well of mind and body, and if you're afforded the opportunities you deserve (which many, including the poor, women and other marginalised populations aren't) then, barring the impossible-according-to-the-laws-of-physics, yes.
But if you're not, it can be much, much, harder.
You should never impose your beliefs and values onto others; especially those who may need your help.
But that doesn't mean you can't.
And I hope I've given you one way to try and do that.
So what did I tell her?
I told her that I'm sorry for her pain. That I could only begin to imagine what she was going through. That it must be horrible.
But then that I myself had been at a low point once myself. That I'd seen others who had been through what she had, and recovered.
That I didn't know what was possible for her. That I did know there would probably be times you feel no difference, that you may go backwards at times, that you may wanna quit.
But that there is an end goal that you can and should aspire to. That this could well be the very thing that gets here there. And that she was in the best place to get her there.
I wish her the very best.