Topics: Spinal Cord Injury, Miscellaneous

How To Forgive After A Spinal Cord Injury

For many people who are paralyzed, they’re only there because of the actions of someone else. Whether it’s because of a drunk driver, a thoughtless friend or a violent stranger, it is common to have a spinal cord injury because of the actions of another human being. And for many, as they live each day with paralysis, they can't help but think about that person with thoughts of anger.

This anger, however, even if warranted, can be all-consuming. It is paramount that you figure out how to move on from any anger in order to heal. From forgiveness to using anger as a motivator, read on for some of the best ways to move on and live a full life after a spinal cord injury.


When you're holding on to anger towards someone after a spinal cord injury, one of the best things any psychologist will recommend is meditation. Meditation can help people struggling with anger management as well. The process of meditation, which calms the mind and as a result the emotional state, can help you focus clearly and see exactly what you should do in order to heal if living with any anger after a spinal cord injury. There are many helpful free meditation apps you can download to try meditation.

"Be Happy and Prospers"

Survivors of terrible events will often say that the best revenge on someone who tried to hurt you, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is to live your life the best you can, with as much happiness and zest as possible. A well-known quote “be happy and prosper” is one of the best ways to live, as well as move on, if someone caused spinal cord injury.

Forgive to Feel Lighter (but never forget)

Forgiving someone for causing your spinal cord injury does not mean you are letting them off the hook, or that their actions no longer cause you pain. Forgiving someone allows you to stop feeling the pain on a daily basis, which can help you feel lighter and live a better life. Holding onto anger towards someone on a daily basis can weigh you down in ways you aren't even aware. And if you do forgive, it does not mean you should forget what they did. It only means you are ready to move on and live again.

Use Your Anger to Fuel You

Some people have found that the best way to use anger towards anyone who caused their spinal cord injury is to use it as a motivator to get things done. You may never be able to get rid of the anger or pain a person caused you, but you can learn to use that anger in a functional way, as well as a motivator to prove to them that you’re not going to let your spinal cord injury stop you from living your life.

Get Busy, and Stay Busy

Another great way to not let anger wear on you (if your spinal cord injury was caused by someone else) is to get busy in life and to stay busy. When you’re busy, whether it’s going back to work or working out, your mind doesn’t have the time to wander and to get angry/sad over things you cannot change. One of the hardest things in life is to accept that you can’t go back and change the circumstances revolving around your spinal cord injury. Many people have found the busier they are, the happier they are, and this can help you get to a place of peace.

Forgive Yourself Too

Some people have a spinal cord injury that was caused by themselves. Forgiving yourself is a completely different situation and involves a lot more self-awareness. It is not easy forgiving yourself for something that can disrupt your life in such a massive way. If you happen to be the reason you’re injured, do not live years mad at yourself for what you did. We are all human and make mistakes. It is important to remember this.

There have been millions of humans before for you in the history of the planet who’ve accidentally damaged their spinal cord as well. You're not the first, and you definitely will not be the last person to be the cause of your spinal cord injury.

If You Can't Forgive, Learn to Move On

And if you cannot find it within yourself to forgive whoever caused your spinal cord injury, at least come to a place for you can move on in a full and complete way. This is incredibly therapeutic, and you deserve it as well. Do not allow yourself to wallow in toxic anger. This will only cause you unhappiness for the rest of your days. Spinal cord injured or not, our days in the world go by too fast.

We hope you can get to a place of forgiveness if your spinal cord injury was caused by someone else, and if not, at least to a place of peace. Living with paralysis can be difficult enough. We urge you to do whatever you can to make it easier on yourself and starting with removing anger is a great start.


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Spinal Cord Team

Written by Spinal Cord Team has been created as a resource for patients of spinal cord injuries and their families. Find everything you need to learn more about your injury, locate a doctor or treatment center, or discover financial relief to support you through this difficult time.

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