“There comes a time when something changes you… No matter the impact… Where the world no longer beats in time with you. You no longer feel amongst the fray.. And the feeling of loneliness is a brandished armor you wear the rest of your life.” ― Solange Nicole
It’s coming up to that time of year again, I’m a month away from my 2 year anniversary. A whole 2 years with this new addition. It got me thinking about the changes that have happened in my life, the ever so subtle changes. The feeling that switches have been switched off and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to switch them back on again type of changes.
The most noticible change for me right now is my lack of resilience. Resilience, the buzz word in psychology. It’s the opposite of depression apparently. I used to have resilience, now I don’t. I want it back but I’m not entirely sure how to get it. It’s the same as that hallowed ‘letting go’ – everyone says you need it but no one tells you how to actually DO it.
It’s hard to explain the loss of resilience, its just something we have to some degree or another and we never really think about how we got it. It’s hard to comprehend the effect of this loss, I think this is the bit that even my nearest and dearest don’t really fully ‘get’. So to explain the difficulty of resilience and stress to someone with a brain injury I’m going to use the much favoured
As you can see pre brain injury the water starts fairly low down in the bucket so even when stones of stress are added it’s still possible to contain the water without much disaster. Post brain injury the water level is already pretty high so when stress stones are added it’s much easier to flood out. The stones don’t have to be big life stresses like death or disease they can also be little day to day stresses like arguments or stubbing your toe. When you are so sensitised to stress it makes life difficult, you have to be extra careful to keep calm. It’s also tiring (as always). Thats why I’ve learnt to not sweat the small stuff, I simply cant afford the energy for the stress. It also means the big events like death and disease can proper tip me over, which is when relapse comes and says hello for a few weeks.
The upshot of this is, I’m trying to work on resilience but as with everything with brain injury I’m not entirely sure if this improves or if it’s something I’m stuck with. I have to be careful what I ‘feed’ myself, what goes in must come out. So no more news on tv or social media for me, I actively search out good news stories, I get rid of the constant moaners on social networks. This works, my reality is a lot different now but it’s good. I no longer feel blind impotence at things I can’t change. It’s healthier. Maybe you normal brains should try it! It has an impact on others, being happier means you get to treat others from a kinder, happier space and believe me, that stuff spreads. Change the world with love and kindness – how radical hey?!