This I Believe

Jessica - McKinney, Texas
Entered on November 7, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe I create my own reality. In 1998, I had a stroke and ceased living. I believed my life was over and it was.

After my stroke one day stubbornly followed another. Existing without engaging the world, I shrank into despair. I thought I was a worthless husk and I was. I could move little and couldn’t function without machines. My ventilator pumped air into my lungs. An electronic stimulator shocked my muscles and they twitched. Time eked by. I became bored.

To break up the monotony of mere existence, I reached out to people that suffered from disease and disability. I learned talking with people was therapeutic to them and me. Before I started reaching out to others, I thought no one’s life could be as horrible as my own. I believed I had no worth and I didn’t. My thoughts revolved around what I lost and what I could not do. The things I was able to do changed, but I still lived.

I believe I create my own reality. I believe I have worth and I do. I shape my own truth. My body is not me. I’m a quadriplegic and ventilator dependent, but am so much more, because I believe I am and choose to be. I am a daughter, sister, aunt, great aunt, public speaker and writer. I have intelligence, creativity, love, and a future. I believe I create my reality and in the possibilities of tomorrow.

This I believe.