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Live for the future, let the past go

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Vicky Balch has every right to be furious with the awful hand dealt to her this year but she really must get a firm grip on her life and look to the future with a new, positive outlook. Otherwise she is going to have a truly miserable time of it.

On 2nd June this year, Vicky was one of several people injured and trapped in an accident on the Smiler roller coaster at Alton Towers, one of the leading theme parks in the UK.

Her injuries were so bad that, despite a series of operations, surgeons eventually had to amputate one of her legs. Another young woman also lost a leg as the result of the accident.

Vicky hit the headlines again today when she lashed out at the decision of Alton Towers bosses to re-open the ride. She is reported as saying that two senior bosses told her of their intentions, during a visit to her home. She said that they told her that they might be able to reopen the ride by the end of this year.

She is disgusted by the possibility of the ride being reopened at all, let alone within seven months of the incident. Is she right? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Before considering that, though, maybe we should take a look at her attitude to life in general since she suffered that terrible injury.

There is no doubt that the accident caused a considerable upheaval in Vicky’s life we can see that she has not yet been able to come to terms with it. In all likelihood, it is too soon. She is still suffering, still grieving for things she can no longer do.

“I’m very up and down at the moment,” she is reported having said. “Talking about things I can’t do any more makes me really emotional.

“I can’t walk my dogs and I can’t ring up my friends at uni and say, do you fancy having a drink tonight?”

Yes, she is in a bad place right now but, and I don’t mean to be unkind here, she has to realise that she is no worse off than some other people. She is using a wheelchair for travelling more than a very short distance, just like me. But she has now taken her first steps using a prosthetic leg, while I will still need a wheelchair.

Again, Vicky looked back instead of forward when considering her future when she said: “I feel less feminine now. The way people look at you, that’s a big thing for me. I liked the attention before but now they look at me in a different way. It’s horrible.

“After my first op I asked my mum, ‘Who’s going to want me like this?’ And I still think like that.” Well, while it is true that the guy she had been dating has now left the scene, I have no idea of what went on between them at that point and so will not comment on that.

However, looking ahead, Vicky is likely to meet men who are shallow and so avoid any possibility of a relationship with her but she will also meet some who see beyond her injury, beyond her prosthetic leg, and fall in love with who she is.

But first, she needs to let go of the past, accept the present and make the very best of the future. That’s the way to find happiness.

So, what about reopening the ride? Alton Towers’ management has discovered the accident was the result of human error. There was nothing wrong with the ride itself, they say. If that is true, as long as steps have been taken to eliminate an error such as this happening again and the authorities are happy, then put the accident in the past and let the ride be reopened.

And in the unlikely event that she is reading this: Vicky, we cannot change the past but what you do now will affect your life to come. You can make yours a great life, embrace it and live it to the full. Shape your life around what you can do now and what you can strive to achieve in the future.

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