The moment of Now:
Oh, the beauty of having a brain injury, is that you truly don’t remember what has happened previously. I have no idea if I’ve visited this topic or not. I’ve no idea.
It’s now over a year since I suffered my brain injury, and tonight I feel myself feeling a bit depressed over the idea that I have not gone farther than I have.
I have so many friends and family members who tell me that I’m just being negative. They tell me that if you think that you aren’t going to get better then you won’t. They tell me that it’s your mindset that influences where you go with your life.
I have to say to them, Screw off. I say that with love, but no one I know has a brain injury. No one. I wouldn’t want them to have one either.
It’s not easy. It’s unbelievably hard.
Do they even know what I go through on a daily basis?
I never know exactly what I said, if I said it, if I did it, if I didn’t do it. My mind does not work!!!!
You get over breaking a toe. You just don’t learn to “live” with having a brain injury.
You can learn to live without an arm or a foot. You can learn to live with an illness. I had.
I wasn’t healthy before the brain injury, but I could DO things. I could fight through the pain, the fatigue, the frustration, the nausea, the headaches…all the physical issues, I was able to fight through it. I was able to work 60 to 80 hours while being sick. I could go to work and then spend my days off studying for the MCAT while I was sick.
But, when you have a brain injury, well that’s having your mind broken. The chemistry in your brain is screwed up. They way you think is broken. The way you process information is broken.
What good is a computer monitor or keyboard if your hard drive does not work?
A year ago, I had hope that this injury would get better. I have seen some improvements. I am not stuttering as much. I am not walking into walls. Ha, that’s funny! I can’t even remember the things that I used to do when I initially had the brain injury to give you an idea as to how it’s improved.
I think that’s part of the problem. I live in the now. I can not make plans because I can not envision how things will be in a week, a month, a year. I do not have the capability of saying…oh, I can’t do that because I will be doing this instead. Because in my mind, the canvas is blank, the calendar is mentally empty. I can’t say that in a year I will be in medical school or in a year, I’m going to take a vacation.
In my life, there is no next year.
I do not remember what commitments I have until I pull out my phone and check my calendar or reminders.
My son might tell me that he will be going to a party next weekend. Sure, that sounds fine. Right now, that does sound fine. I can’t remember that I wanted to get his pictures taken with his sister. It doesn’t register in this minute of my life. In a few days, I might have another plan set in my mind, like going out to dinner as a family.
Things hit me as a realization….Just now, I realized that Halloween is this week. This triggered the memory that I took off that day off from work. Why did I take that day off? I must have had a reason. I don’t have a costume. I don’t have a party that I’m going to. Trick or Treat is the day before. I don’t know.
This is just one example of how things just happen in my life. I live in the present. I don’t remember the past, and I have no idea how to plan for the future.
In this moment of now, I feel a loss. I feel melancholy. I feel jealous of those who do not know what it means to live like this. I feel ashamed that I feel so bad about the life that I should be grateful for. I feel alone because no one I know shares this life with me. And I feel hate over the fact that this injury was caused by someone else, and that person will be going to sleep tonight without any regard for what I’m living with and what I will have to live with for the rest of my life.
I’ve tried to regain my life. I’ve tried counseling. I’ve tried therapy. I’ve tried medicines. I’ve tried dozens of doctors. I’ve tried just doing it. I’ve tried exercise. I’ve tried forgetting about it. I’ve tried organizing. Now, I have to try to live with it, and to learn to live with it, and be happy with the fact that I have lost everything I was working for before the injury. I have to try to figure out how to make the most of the life that I have now, and to make that mean the most to me.
I figure out there must be a reason, and I pray with time that reason will become apparent so that I can try to make myself believe that this injury was for the greater good.
I’m certain that I am not the only who has a brain injury that feels this way. I know that there are so many people in the world that are living with the same feelings, and with that I have to say despite the negative tone in this post, I still have hope for tomorrow. What can we do but keep on keeping on?
This is a journey and even if the path is rocky, it’s still worth the view.