4

Dream with the sun and the skies

There was a time in my hazy past in the period directly after my brain injury when the thought of being 5 years along seemed like an untouchable made up place. When I was sinking in quicksand every day, 5 years into the future was a place that was full of exhaustion and fear. Today I’m hitting that 5 year mark, and it is a liminal time for me. A time when the deja vu that is my anniversary effect whips me backwards and forwards out of the present and into dark corners. A time of contrasts – great sadness followed by gratitude followed by fear.

I’m still making baby steps in my recovery. I’m still traumatised and lost and I’m also still having moments when I conquer stormy waters. There have been little light bulb moments happening to me throughout the past 6 months especially. Moments of learning and acceptance of myself. Moments where the TBI comes and pokes me in the eye again and reminds me that it’s still hanging around.

An example of this is my inability to socialise like I used to. When I have the energy to be around others I’ve discovered that it feels like I’m from another planet. I am not neuro¬†typical anymore, I can not do small talk and I have lost my brain to mouth filter. I find that a mixture of social anxiety, unwired neurons and the fact that I don’t get to talk very much so when I’m around others I can’t stop yakking, all contribute to some odd discussions. I say things out loud that I need to keep to myself, I interrupt others, I do not shut up and I’m unflinchingly honest and open. I am acutely aware that I’m verbally diarrhoea-ing over everyone and that I sometimes say things that make people feel a little embarrassed. The end result is I feel odd, out of place and weird. I then tell myself that people don’t want to be around me and listen to me and that I’m somehow not ‘normal’.

‘Normal’ is a funny word, we use it to describe the average persons daily activity and behaviour but I know that there’s not really such a thing as ‘normal’ anymore. I suppose I’ve always been a bit eccentric, a square peg in a round hole, since my TBI that has compounded. But here’s the thing, whilst in the past my eccentricities have been something I felt I needed to hide to ‘fit in’ (a mistake if there ever was one, I needed to celebrate my oddness), I now, most of the time, don’t care a jot. I was told a few weeks ago that I’ve gone ‘a bit strange’ my response to that was that maybe I’m the sane one.

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I want to own who I am and where I’ve been. I want to own the beauty in my life, the things that make me curious and joyful. My strangeness is my strength. My strangeness is my medal, I earned it my friends. ¬†I’m a tree hugging hippy, I care about animals and people and the Earth so I live my values as a vegan, I believe in Magic, I think universal love is massively important and powerful, I have a head full of fanciful notions, I read tarot cards, cleanse crystals, talk to plants, believe in ghosts and see fairies. I talk too much, I can be a frightened rabbit, I wear pyjamas too much, I am fiercely loyal and incredibly stubborn, I grieve and cry, I am exhausted and I give up many times. I am all these things. I am dark and light, full of contrasts and imperfections. Isn’t it wonderful.

Happy 5th brainiversary Braingirl. You made it.

 

 

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8

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.