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The Five Commandments of Rehabilitation
Commandment 1: Thou Shall Make Only Accurate Comparisons. Thou shall not make false comparisons. That is, it is only fair (and adaptive) to compare oneself to persons with similar injuries, illnesses, disabilities and stress. It is unfair to compare ourselves to others without similar challenges, or to ourselves before we were challenged, as this makes us look poor by comparison. It is fair, however, to compare ourselves to others of similar injury, challenge, age, etc., as this comparison allows us to accurately measure ourselves.
Commandment 2: Thou Shall Learn New Ways to Do Old Things.
Learning new ways, or finding another way to do desired tasks, vs. giving up & feeling hopeless because the old way doesn't work, is the key to Challenging obstacles and overcoming them.
...Overcome Thinking that the old way is the best way (i.e., Stinking Thinking)
Commandment 3: Thou Shall Not Beat Thyself Up...Instead, Thou Shall Build Thyself Up! We clearly understand that when we have a physical injury, such as a broken leg, getting mad, yelling at, or hitting (i.e., beating up) the leg only delays recovery, increases symptoms and pain, and makes us and the leg function worse. We know that pampering the leg, massaging it and coaxing it along gently & patiently will help it recover. Unfortunately, we too often forget that our brains are similar. An injured brain will perform poorly when we get mad with it, or get frustrated. Instead, understanding it, pampering it, being patient, using pacing & coaxing it along in a supportive way will help you function your best, and help your recovery and rehabilitation. Talking to ourselves in supportive and understanding ways (vs. getting mad at ourselves for being injured) and coaxing things out gently is a good way of building ourselves up in order to face the challenges of rehabilitation. Rewarding ourselves for efforts and each small step of progress, despite tremendous obstacles & challenges, is the best way to build ourselves up!
...Child & Spouse Abuse are recognized as illegal and immoral....Self Abuse is just as bad!
Commandment 4: Thou Shall View Progress as a Series of Small Steps.
Rehab is appropriately viewed One Step At a Time - by focusing on the gains over where we were when we were one step behind where we are now, we can focus on (and celebrate) the Graduated Successes and feelings of accomplishment (despite giant obstacles) which will leave us feeling proud and hopeful and enable us to focus and reach the next small step ahead, and make progress through the many small steps necessary to make substantial progress. Focusing on our current gains and small steps of progress (compared to where we were earlier in rehab and when we were at our worst) will build hope and a sense of challenge and growing victories (versus comparing ourselves to before the injury, which only makes us feel sad & depressed.
Inch by Inch & It's a Cinch. Meter by Meter, Life is Sweeter.
Commandment 5: Thou Shall Expect Challenge & Strive to Beat IT.
By Converting Complaint (I don't want) To Challenge (I want), We Can Make Our Future Through Our Vision and Driving Thoughts. We will actively shape our future by focusing on a vision of hope, challenge, control & satisfaction. By changing our focus from complaint and feelings of victimization & helplessness & pessimism, we can avoid giving up and giving in to a pessimistic prophecy of dissatisfaction and doom. (cf. "Thou Shall not Pretend to Have a Contract Guaranteeing Freedom from Injury, Disease, Illness or Unfair circumstances or Significant Challenge or Stress!")
©M.F. Martelli, Ph.D: © 1995