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I will write my words on the face of today

I’m 2 today, now to look at me you may think I’ve had a hard life if I look like this at 2! Well, I’m celebrating (if that’s even the right word?) the 2 year anniversary of my brain injury today and I want to dedicate this one to you, yes you.

This is the face of a survivor

This is the face of a fighter

This is the face of pain and sorrow

This is the face of joy

This is the face of loving and being loved unconditionally

This is a face that has felt hopeless and lost and alone

This is the face that has seen and camped in rock bottom canyon

This is the face of giving up and starting again

This is the face of a newborn

This is the face of a traveller

This is the face of a learner and a teacher

This is the face of feeling broken beyond repair

This is the face of strength and courage

This is the face of grief

This is the face of immeasurable fatigue

This is also YOUR face

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To all you survivors, adapters and travellers out there. People who have journeyed through brain injury or loss or mental illness or anything that required you got up and fought. I have cried with you, grieved with you, laughed with you, fallen with you, given up with you, stood, sat and lay down with you, picked myself up with you and got through each day with you.

I AM YOU. YOU ARE ME.

And most importantly I completely and utterly salute you my friends, you’ve totally got this I promise.

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I put the pedal to the floor

This post wasn’t going to be written but it shoved its little head above the ground and demanded it. So here’s a short but sweet bit of writing about my day today.

I’ve been going through what is known as the ‘anniversary effect’ that time of year when your cells remember that something rather terrible happened around this date a few years ago and set about reminding you about it.

I have been caught by anxiety, obsessive thoughts, depression and exhaustion. My surgery site has been fizzing and clunking and throbbing. I seriously thought I had lost it. For real this time. I couldn’t handle the overwhelming assault that appeared apparently out of nowhere.

Then I remembered that I had the same thing last year at the same time and it clicked that I was re-experiencing my trauma. As soon as I realised that, some of the weight lifted. I also stuck to my breathing, feeling feelings and meditating because they are part of my tool kit when things get stormy (also when things aren’t but more so when in distress).

Now normally at this point I give in to the duvet and try to just surf it out but this time I wanted to do something, anything. I was sick of my life being ruled by this unwelcome guest. I made a pact with myself to just bloody DO IT! No matter how scared I felt I was going to do it anyway. I stood in the kitchen and said out loud “F**k you! I’m not playing anymore. I’d rather die trying to live than festering in sadness”. As a result I ended up jogging around the park for half an hour even though my trauma mind was telling me not to. I had a good cry when I got home as pushing myself this way always makes me feel very vulnerable.

So my friends, that is why you find me writing this after completing my first morning at college. I went back to school today to study Counselling. Three days ago I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. But I did it and I feel really proud of myself, really proud. Let’s hope I can maintain it through the unpredictable terrain that brain injury gives me.

How have you pushed your limits this week?