June 9th, 2014
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I’m still here.

These are words of determination and strength.  They come from facing up to a cold hard truth about a new reality that life has given us to handle.  It could be the loss of a loved one or an unexpected and tragic diagnosis, accident or attack.  The person saying these words  is often trying to tell you that they are still searching or have found a new way to live through the pain and suffering of this change in their life.

I’m still here.

I used these words many times after my husband died.  For me they meant the following: “I’m not sure of what I’m doing now but I am trying to work on getting better every day, mentally and physically, and learning to live with a different purpose.  It’s not easy and it’s not pretty but I’m doing it. “

Resilience is a person’s ability to be flexible in the face of adversity or a life-changing challenge.  The ability to look within ourselves and find the necessary resources to help us decide to live life differently.  To realize that Plan A no longer exists and a new plan must be made.  It’s frightening to deal with unexpected change that arrives in a sad way.

I believe each one of us has a certain amount of resilience encoded into our DNA.  That we learn, either from others or from a personal sense of survival, to draw on those resilience resources in times of stress and adversity.   To grow while handling a traumatic situation.  In other words, we learn to bend but not break.

I’m still here.

Peter Laboy is also a person who says “I’m still here.”

Less than a year ago, Laboy, a young policeman with the Alexandria, Virginia police department was shot in the head.   Laboy has made incredible progress but naturally is exasperated and frustrated by the change in the quality of his life and the continual work he has to do to get his body to do what his brain is telling it to do.

But that doesn’t stop him.  Ask him how his doing in light of his catastrophic injuries and he will say, “I’m still here.”

Here is the link to Laboy’s inspiring story which was recently published in The Washington Post:



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