When you read the words on this blog, you may get the impression that I’m some kind of eternal optimist that is unfazed by circumstance, or even happy that I have to rehabilitate from my condition.
|Me at my last birthday,
I suppose, the best picture I have of me
Not exactly true.
I am in many ways thankful for the insights and understanding I’ve gained through my brain injury and resulting condition, but it can certainly be disheartening at times.
While I do normally choose to spend my days focusing on the things I am still able to do (or have worked my way back to doing — like dance), occasionally the discouragement of all that I’ve lost creeps up like a shadow that’s always been lurking, but oh! It caught me!
This happened to me on Wednesday. I was driving into the city to eat with friends and we passed a soccer field. This triggered memories of my freshman year at U of I as a referee for intramurals, and all of a sudden I felt really upset. I longed for the days when I could just pick up and run without having to worry about whether I should wear a brace or if I’d look like a big weirdo in front of everybody. Then I felt frustrated, frustrated that this isn’t “just a part of life” like getting grey hairs or dealing with politics. Frustrated that this kind of thing happens in very rare cases, even rarer at age nineteen like it did in my life. Why did I have to be one of these freak cases? Why couldn’t it just be a dream, or be like any other injury, like a scratch or a broken bone? Healed on its own, and then I could move on?
I know many of you reading this may feel very similar sometimes and know exactly what I mean. Even if you’re not the one sustaining the injury or condition. Believe me, I know just how much of a drag it is to have to constantly watch out or slow down for me when you’re in my company. I know how inconvenient I’ve become. It is no less of a hassle for those of us dealing with living with the disability itself. It is the most tedious for us! It’s a sudden bout of self-pity that gets its claws on you and sinks them in for a period of time.
Fortunately, I’m not one to dwell too long on self-pity, so it of course passed. It’s now Friday, a totally new day, and while I’m still in the same situation — no sudden sprinting for me at this given moment — it doesn’t feel as dire. The impatience has let up, and I recognize that this journey requires tremendous feats of inner strength probably greater than the cumulative physical strength I lost in my injury.
Anthony was there when it happened, and he assured me, “Just take it one task at a time.” If we learn to focus on each exercise we do, progress may be slow, but the strength to carry on gets reinforced.
And remember, I’ll be here too if you need it! Leave any comment you may want to share here or e-mail me.
To our healing,