For this project, I was lucky enough to produce a podcast episode about Nick’s journey of recovery from a coma. His story touched me and many others deeply.
The part of this podcast that made me think the most
I didn’t really appreciate … how it would impact others, and how they would want to care for me. So I guess in my example, I might be macho about it and go, “No, I’m fine, I’m fine. Just leave me alone. I’ll be alright. I don’t need help.” … I had to sort of recognise and have an increased awareness of the impact it has on other people. And let them help you because they’re going through trauma as well. I became better at this, rather than having sort of semi-arguments afterwards, which is resisting help, because “I didn’t need it”, I was accepting the help. And they’re just trying to be helpful and loving and caring, and then they feel better. And then you both feel better.25:00 mins
There were many points in this podcast that made me think. However, this was a big theme that came up for me. It made me reflect on how much our lives affect the people around us; what happens to us and what comes of that ripples out far beyond ourselves. Nick’s circumstances and recovery impacted the lives of his friends and family. There were queues to see him at the hospital during his recovery. When Nick left the hospital he moved back in with his parents. His epilepsy still worries his partner and family today.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who sometimes doubts how much of an impact I have on others, but no matter what, what happens to us affects our loved ones. When all is stripped away and we are forced to accept help from the people around us. We may notice that the people around us are more than willing to help because they love you.
Nick even mentions that he’s glad that he was home and not traveling because he’s been recovering at his parents house and that way he was able to be there for his mum when she was fighting cancer. From what I gathered the perspective change Nick had through this whole experience is that, your worth as a human is not based on money, what you can give and what you can achieve. It is based on just being human and the people to share that worth with loved ones. They don’t care about any of the things above, they just care about your health and happiness.
Men are less likely to ask for help
This example also speaks to something about our society. Nick mentioned being quite “male” about his responses to people helping him at first during his recovery. Which I think is a big thing in our society, men are less likely to ask for or accept help.
In a literature review of studies about men seeking help and their engagement with GPs, Murse et al. (2022) found in many studies, the very need to seek out healthcare services was perceived by some participants as a sign of weakness and vulnerability. Even when some male participants experienced a medical emergency there was a reluctance to seek help, based on how this may be perceived by others and tolerating pain or illness was viewed as a masculine value.
And that’s just seeking medical attention, I think it’s undeniable that some of the men in our lives are reluctant to seek help whether that be for something as simple as asking for directions, or something more serious such as mental health. This is why I believe sharing stories like this is so important.
Stories like these act as a mirror for us
Stories like this shine a mirror up to our own lives and society, and we are able to see them through a different perspective. They also make us more aware of the people around us, as hearing another person’s experience connects you more to that sense of being human. But also gives you an objective lens by providing us with an insight to how it feels to be another person with a different life and perspective.
Nick’s experience continues to have a ripple effect and positively impacts people he’s never met! The feedback from this podcast episode has been so positive. People have called it inspiring and perspective changing.
Nick mentioned that this was the best thing that ever happened to him, because it changed the way he lived his life and the meaning he gave to his life. Horrific circumstances can turn into beautiful things. It speaks to the humanity within us and forces us to reflect on the very meanings we give life and the people around us. We need each other. Whether we like it or not our values, beliefs, and perspectives come from the people around us – friends, family members and even strangers. It’s a powerful reminder that each of us has an impact on the lives of others – sometimes without even realising it!
Written by Ruby Illing.
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