Some people think that I’ve been too negative. The truth is, I’ve been HOLDING BACK just how devastating this has been for me. Seriously- you don’t end up being hospitalized 4 times in 4 months, twice psychiatrically, because of trouble coping, or “just” depression, especially with no prior mental health issues. Whatever improvement everyone has seen- real or perceived- the inner-darkness that took over my soul, the instant that I regained consciousness on August 1st, 2017, has not lifted. I led a truly blessed life for 40 years, and though it had its problems early on, it had been getting better and better with each passing day. By the time I got there, I RELISHED turning 40! 2017 was shaping up to be the best year of my life. Then, the accident happened, and with slight variation here and there, every day since has been close to a tie for second worst. (The worst would be April 30th, 2015, the day I found out that my niece had an acquired brain injury. Thankfully, HER spirit has not been broken.)
In spite of this setback, and in spite of the darkness of my mood and of this blog post, I will continue to fight through this, to the best of my ability. I do acknowledge my luck with all the wonderful people in my life, and those who have come in my life. (More on that in a bit.) But there is one thing that has bothered me at times, and now is the time to come and say it in boldface- THERE ARE TIMES WHEN I FEEL THAT THE FEARS I HAVE ABOUT MYSELF ARE NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY. This goes back to the CAUSE of the accident- an inattentive doctor who decided, after giving me the most basic examination imaginable, that I had “flu-like symptoms”. Within 24 hours, I collapsed on the floor, hitting my head on the edge of a table, and having my life change forever. It turned out that I actually had a severe case of pneumonia. (When informed of this, the doctor replied that he didn’t recall treating me. I’m not surprised, seeing how he barely did.)
Now, don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t mean I believe I’m always right about myself. I know there are aspects of this that have taken a few turns for the better, fortunately, which I didn’t anticipate. But at the core of my altered soul, I knew- KNEW- that the life I had been living, and the that person I was, had changed forever, the instant that I regained consciousness- and not for the better. I did not know exactly how, but I knew that it was not an “ordinary” concussion, regardless of what I was told by those who never lived through one, from the day I entered Marina Del Rey hospital until the present day. Don’t ask me how- unless you’ve been through what I’ve been through, I’d rather not be judged on this belief. It’s your prerogative if you do, though.
Having said all this…I KNOW THERE’S HOPE. I KNOW THINGS CAN CHANGE. But the feelings and convictions I have about myself and the challenges I will likely face FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE are very real. The more people can understand this, the less alone I will feel, and the more it could potentially help me.
2 thoughts on “Living With TBI For A Year And Counting- Still Trying To Figure It Out”
I experience all of what you have written, and am sad for these tragic and often unseen losses in you and me and others. Just lately I have realized that I dont live in the “normal” world anymore… it takes monumental effort to make it to an appointment. People talk too fast for me and when I overdo it I experience distortions of all kinds. I am exhausted by the smallest things… I rarely am able to socialize (no evenings, nothing over an hour, impossible to keep up with conversations of more than one person let alone contribute. I “fake it” all of the time. Five years and a half years since 3rd concussion in a short period of time. I worked so hard for many years to have a healthy and whole life… I try to hold on to that gumption bit many daya I just breathe through… take it one day at a time. Sharing is so important. Thanks for listening.
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Thanks for reading and sharing, Kim…I guess it’s a cyber-version of “The Piano Man”- “They’re sharing a drink they call loneliness, but it’s better than drinking alone.” All my best to you