Anniversaries are often a good time to reflect back on events, both good and bad. As I’m uploading this blog post, it has been exactly three years since my life was turned upside down, by an accident that I can’t even remember. This anniversary is particularly noteworthy, because my accident was followed, roughly and unofficially, by spending eighteen months in “post concussion hell”. In other words, I’ve now managed to have escaped it, as long as I had been imprisoned by it.
So, what accounted for the change? I wish I knew, but the truth is that there isn’t one single answer. A combination of- in no particular order- time, persistence, luck, support, therapy, hobbies, perspective, social interaction, and medication changes, all played a role, to various degrees. In October 2018, I started playing guitar on a regular basis. A month later, I moved into my own apartment. In April 2019, I became consumed by Game of Thrones. That last one might sound kind of silly, but the fact that I was able to be consumed by a television show- albeit a crazy one- really showed me that I had regained my ability to enjoy things in life again. None of these activities specifically marked a turning point- it took several months of living on my own again, before I felt comfortable with it- but they were all accomplishments that I never thought would be possible, during that hellish period after my accident. At the time of this blog, I am feeling reasonably optimistic about my life, and not only grateful for all the things I am optimistic about, but for the optimism itself. There’s nothing like gaining back some hope after losing all of it, to really be able to appreciate it.
Right now, my biggest concerns don’t involve myself, but all that’s going on “out there”. Since everyone’s reality got turned upside down a few months ago “to stop the spread”, I’ve actually managed to enjoy the relative quiet of more people staying at home. But as someone who already spent plenty of time avoiding the dangers of the outside world, rest assured, continuing to do so on a daily basis only serves to enforce that mentality, whether the coronavirus threat fades or not.
It’s also worth remembering that as so many of our resources have gone to prevent one threat, so many others have gone unchecked. Watching our society increasingly gripped with fear and loathing, not just of the virus but of each other, makes me think about how difficult it must be for those who are in serious need of help, as I was not that long ago. A big part of my recovery was achieved thanks to the help of others, but I recognize how tough it must be for those who don’t have the same access right now.
My best advice to anyone dealing with such challenges is that even with these new obstacles, there are people out there who care, are willing to help, and thanks to technology, can be reached pretty easily. As important as it is to live in the present, there is always hope to build a better future, so long as you’re willing to try.
So that’s three years in the books. I can’t begin to imagine what the next three will bring, but given the times we’re living in, who knows how things will even be in three months? We’ll all find out soon enough.