Embracing Adversity

Amputated yet whole – now there’s a contradiction in terms. Oh the irony of losing critical parts of one’s self in order to become complete. Aside from the irony of my story, my journey to totality is rather interesting. It has been marked with tragedy, turmoil, adversity, and despair; but it’s also been blessed with clarity, strength, and happiness. I’ve been very blessed in my journey because it allowed me to learn so much about myself. I’ve come to a better understanding of who I am because of the very things I’ve lost along the way. Not only have I become more aware of who I am, but this journey has also made me a stronger, more confident person.

As the title of this website suggests, I’m an amputee, a left below knee (LBK) amputee to be exact. I lost my leg due to a neurological condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). However, there’s much more meaning in the word “amputated” as it relates to my story. It also refers to the mental, emotional, and spiritual amputations that I’ve experienced. Even though my neurological condition and having my leg amputated were both very difficult and very painful; the mental, emotional, and spiritual amputations I’ve experienced have been far worse.  Within a relatively short period of time, aside from losing my leg, I was also disowned by my parents because of my sexuality, survived a horrific break up of a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship, lost my job, and lost my savings, all while struggling to complete my doctorate.  Such “amputations” almost cost me my life to suicide, but in the end I used these adversities to improve my life instead.  As a Christian, I held fast to my faith and used my trust in God to help overcome what seemed insurmountable circumstances.

I encourage you to explore this website to learn more about me and my story. I also encourage you to consider reading my book Amputated Yet Whole, How Adversity Made Me Complete, as it chronicles my journey of struggles, hope, and self-discovery. I’m sure most of you have dealt with your own struggles, but that you may not be able to relate to my specific story. You may not even be able to understand the challenges I’ve faced. However, listen to the message of how I dealt with my struggles and how they changed my life for the better. That’s where the true meaning of my story lies. My message is about hope and self-discovery; about how to become complete even in the absence of critical parts of one’s self. Even if you can’t relate to a specific situation I’ve endured, I hope you will be able to convey my overall message to your own life. We all have struggles and it’s my purpose to show you how I dealt with mine in order to help inspire you to deal with and overcome yours.

It’s my genuine hope that I can send you a message of courage, strength, and purpose when you need it most. I also hope that I’ll inspire you, but most of all I hope you will inspire yourself. As you explore my story, whether through this website or by reading my book, I encourage you to embrace your challenges. It’s these adversities in life that will form your character, build your strength, and shape who you are.

Why I wrote the book Amputated Yet Whole: How Adversity Made Me Complete