“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.”
― Lemony Snicket,
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you were screaming at the top of your lungs but no one could hear you? That feeling of being trapped and totally helpless?
Well, imagine if that same dream lasted for a decade. Such is the story of Martin Pistorious who at the age of 12 contracted an unknown disease that literally trapped him inside his own body.
Martin was a healthy and happy little boy growing up in South Africa. He was smart and had a fascination with electronics until one day, at the age of 12, he came home with what they thought back then was a simple sore throat. The doctors gave him the usual medication for flu but as time went by, his condition got worse.
The doctors had no idea what this strange illness was and their best guess was cryptococcal meningitis. Soon after, Martin’s condition started to deteriorate. He lost the ability to move on his own, make eye contact, and eventually, his ability to speak.
His parents were told that he was in some sort of virtual coma and that he was not “there” anymore. They were told to take him home and make the most out of the days that remain until he eventually dies.
His father cared for him mostly. He bathed him and changed his clothes everyday. He had to wake up every 2 hours at night to turn Martin’s body so he won’t get bed sores. He was literally a ghost. A vegetable if you may.
One night, perhaps out of sheer desperation and pity for her son, Martin’s mother Joan, uttered these unexpected and unmotherly words:
“I hope you die.”
She said this without knowing that despite what the doctors said, Martin was STILL there and that he heard and understood the whole thing and that it was the most painful thing he has ever heard though he understood where his mother was coming from.
It will take 12 long years before this nightmare came to an end. Martin’s condition would eventually improve though in an interview, he said he believes he started regaining consciousness when he was around 14 or 15 years of age but no one would notice.
Martin would eventually communicate with people again through Virna van der Walt, a caregiver who noticed that he can respond with his eyes. She would send him to the University of Pretoria where it was confirmed that he was indeed conscious and aware of his surroundings.
Martin is now able to speak again through the use of speech computer. He is now a freelance web designer and developer and a best-selling author through his autobiography, Ghost Boy. He is also happily married to his wife Joanna whom he met through his sister Kim back in 2008.
Martin’s story is a testament to the power of hope. His doctors, even his parents, has already written him out but he never gave up. Twelve years! In a vegetative and helpless state!
This guy is freakin’ amazing. He’s remarkable in every sense of the word. Why?
Because he never lost hope despite the odds stacked against him. Unlike Martin, some of us lose hope much easier when we get into situations that does not even measure up to what Martin has gone through.
We should always have hope. Hold on to it and never give up.
1. Because nothing is impossible
Martin’s story best shows this point. When doctors are clueless and unable to give you a proper diagnosis then eventually give you two years to live, any person, no matter how positive his or her outlook maybe, can just give it all up. Let’s be honest. In a situation like that, all hope goes out the window.
But time-and-time again, people like Martin comes along to prove us all wrong. Sometimes, things happen that defies logic or science. Call it a miracle or whatever but the most important thing is that the person affected should never lose faith. He or she should hold on to the idea, the belief that nothing is impossible and that no matter how difficult his current situation may be, that he or she would always find a way to turn things around.
2. Because hardships are temporary
If you had spoken to me a year ago, I wouldn’t have been as positive as I am right now. Back then I thought I was screwed already. That there was no way out for me and that I couldn’t turn things around when it comes to my mounting debt.
Though personal development, I developed a better attitude. I learned to become more hopeful, more positive and more responsible of my actions. I learned that the trials we go through are in no way permanent. You may be going through some tough times lately but I assure you, that would all come to an end sooner that you think it would. You just have to be patient.
Fast forward to today. I have now managed to cut my debt in half and I’m on my way to being debt-free.
Life is like a wheel. Sometimes you’re at the top, sometimes you’re at the bottom but you’ll never stay there for long.
3. Because you have a lot to be thankful for
When we go through adversity, we all have the tendency to get consumed by disappointment and despair and in the process, we lose sight of the things we should be thankful for.
So you’re buried in debt, so you’ve gone through a divorce, so you lost your job but hey, you still have friends and family who are there for you. You still have roof over your head and food to put in your mouth. Your family is in good health and they rarely get sick. Are you still as miserable as you think you are?
Like I said time and again, count your blessings and stop focusing on the negative. You will live happier and have more peace of mind if you practice gratitude everyday. BELIEVE ME!
4. Adversity is a part of life
You can try your best to avoid it or run from it but the time will come when you’ll have to face adversity. You see adversity is a part of life. We are meant to experience them whether we like it or not and that’s the way life is.
Never lose hope when you come across adversity. Instead, go by the mindset that they are necessary for us to experience the best things life has to offer and that they were meant to be experienced so we can become better people.
You won’t appreciate life’s beauty without the challenges that adversity brings.
There are a dozen reasons for you to lose hope but a thousand more reasons for you to have hope. Life is so much better if you’ll learn to stay positive and look forward for better things to come. It may come sooner than you expected. It may not come tomorrow, or next month, or next year, but it will and when it does, you’ll realize that it was all worth it.
Over to You
Are you in a situation that you feel is insurmountable? How are you coping with this situation? How do you remain hopeful despite the odds stacked against you?
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