- The dictionary defines "giving up" as a verbal act of admitting defeat or the act of forsaking.
- "Giving in", on the other hand, is defined as consenting reluctantly or yielding to an outside pressure, wish or opinion.
For a long time I viewed "giving in" to this disease as being defeated by it. Because I am a very competitive person, I will not "give up" on anything without a fight. Often this perspective on life resulted in me falling. Some of these falls resulted in me breaking a bone or causing some other injury. When I look back over the last ten years, most of my injuries were preventable. If I had accepted the possibility of an injury at the time, I would have acted more responsibly and possibly never have fallen.
Ever since I broke the tibia and fibula, however, I have been far more accepting of the notion that it is better to error on the side of being safe. Yes, I am less mobile today, but, on the other hand, I have not had a fall or injury in over thirty-two months (my name is Bruce and I am a recovering chronic faller).
Acceptance for me has not come easy. Fortunately, my wife (the smarter one in our family) is a motivating factor in this evolving process (her training method - the carrot or the stick). Moving to a "class 3" wheelchair, using a lift-chair, shower stool, and commode seat-lift are four recent examples of me considering safety first. I believe these are all moves in the right direction.
I have not given up. I have just accepted more of my limitations. With this acceptance, I am safer and happier. Acceptance does not help the frustration that I still feel as the disease progresses. It just means smarter decisions are being made that make my life easier and removes some of the stress from my wife.
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