Nella Coiro

Finding Meaning

When I was younger, I was overly concerned with analyzing and trying to understand the reasons why. As I’ve matured, I began to realize that this was a waste of time, and I became better at accepting that often we have to live with unanswered questions. The mantra, “Why me?” has never brought me to a good place.
Renal failure has forced me to face the fact that I have zero control over the external circumstances of my life. The only thing that I have control over is my perspective, response s and reactions.

In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Holocaust survivor and author Dr. Viktor Frankl shares these insights on addressing traumatic circumstances: 

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves… Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – the ability to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

In terms of being a dialysis patient, I can’t change the fact that I need to be on dialysis until I hopefully get a kidney transplant. However, if I want to maintain some level of sanity and avoid chronic depression, I have to change my attitude about how I approach the dialysis experience. My change in attitude is what Frankl calls the last of the human freedoms. In reality, it is the only the only power that I possess, and a way to find meaning in my circumstances and grow as a person.

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