Melody is a Happiness Aide and probably THE HAPPIEST person on the MentalHappy team. She is definitely one of the happiest human beings I've ever encountered so I was shocked to learn that she lost several years of living life due to being paralyzed. She's always very chipper and bouncing around the office you'd never guess that at one point she couldn't physically move at all. So I thought I'd ask her details about it and because Melody is such an amazing human being she was more than willing to let me share details with you all.Here's what she had to say about her life changing ordeal:
How long were you paralyzed in the hospital?
I was a quadriplegic in the hospital for almost a year of my life. I have extremely limited memories from that period of my life.
How long where you paralyzed at home?
Once I regained movement and was able to utilize my arms and hands, I was soon released to home care. Once I became a paraplegic and had the full use of my upper body, I did as much as I could to regain mobility in my legs.
Who took care of you while you were immobilized?
My mother took care of me while I was immobile. I must say, in honor of Mother's Day, no one will ever take care of you and love you, like your mom!!! I had to travel to Idaho so that she could take care of me and keep me sane.
What was your first emotion when the doctor gave you the news and What was your mental state during your disability?
I do remember, very vaguely, when I awoke in the hospital. I couldn't move my lower extremities whatsoever. I had no feeling or sensation in my legs. My upper body was also static. I had limited movement of my arms. I could not grasp an object with either of my hands, or perform a fluid motion with my arms, they hung lifeless and limp at my sides. I was completely devastated and distraught. I honestly thought that nothing could ever happen that would be as traumatizing as this. I fell into a deep, dark, drowning depression that pulled me farther and farther into the darkness where no illumination could peer through. For several months I wished I were dead. This was the absolute and most horrible life experience I have, or WILL ever have. Each second felt like an eternity. Every breath of stagnant air that I inhaled, kept my static body alive; but did not renew my lifeless spirit.
You said that physical therapy didn't help you much at all...so what led to your road to recovery?
At some point in my depression; I finally had a transcendent vision of light that overtook me. I have always been a positive and extremely productive person. I was not going to let this change me. I began sitting up on my own. I began working out and performing physical therapy on my own. I began standing up. I began walking again like a toddler. I was not going to let this change me. After several months of my own physical therapy perseverance, I was completely mobile once again. What led to my road to recovery? I am extremely proud to say that it was ALL mental strength. I had tremendous support and love from my family and friends. Without this support, love, and inspiration; I wouldn't have recovered to the person that I am today. And, I am better than I was!!! I am stronger than I was!!! I now know that what doesn't kill us, absolutely makes us invincible!!! :-)What advice can you offer anyone trying to heal mentally, physically, or emotionally from some type of trauma in their life?It is going to be a personal battle. You have to know that only you can heal yourself. Only you can repair what needs to be repaired. Your friends and family can assist you and cheer you on, but getting better and recovering is going to be a hard road that is going to try and throw you off. The road is going to veer, get longer, get steeper, get slicker; hold on and don't let go!!! You will make it. Your spirit is strong.
What does a Happiness Aide do exactly? What's the toughest part about what you do? What do you really enjoy?
Melody M. - Happiness Aide!!! I personally craft the Cheerboxes for the intended recipient. I intently read, and feel the information being provided about the recipient so that I can give them the best box of cheer that will elevate their happiness. I write each individual a personal handwritten note of good thoughts and inspirational feelings that lifts their mood and makes them smile. The happiness tools that I select for each Cheerbox, I actually envision in my mind's eye that the recipient is using, and enjoying these items. The toughest part of my job is not being able to actually speak with the recipients of the Cheerbox and let them know what a shining star they are!!! I wish I could let each individual know that I truly understand what they are going through, and it is going to get better. I really enjoy brightening up people's lives. I honestly feel that if I am happy and satisfied with a smile on my face after what I have experienced, I can let others know that sunshine and happiness is going to blind them when they least expect it. It does get better. Believe in that. Shine on and stay sunny!!!
See what I mean folks? Melody is such a happy person despite life’s really tough challenges. Melody offers a fresh reminder that it’s not about what you go through but what you get out of the experience. And if she can survive it, you too can survive anything with the power of positive thoughts.Remember, our mantra: Everything is ALWAYS working out for me!
-Love & Light,
Tamar - MentalHappy Human