A few days ago it was three years since I injured my brain in a freak accident.
It’s hard to know what to say on this anniversary. Each day since then I’ve lived in the shadow-grief of that two seconds and the massive destruction it caused in my life, to my very self as constructed by a lifetime of brain growth, education, connection-building.
I was feeling a bit more eloquent on Instagram on the actual day that marked three years.
It’s my 3rd brainiversary! This day will always be poignant for me because it’s the day my map to life and myself were unceremoniously shredded. It’s been a steep climb. Until this year, I didn’t recognize my experience of self as *my* whole self. There were many parts that were the same, but my internal way of processing the world was buried in neural chaos. It’s an experience in pain, confusion and despair I still can’t comprehend, and I continue to write to try to understand, even though it affects me every day to a much lesser degree than at first. A couple of weeks ago when I was a puddle of emotional paralysis and ineffectiveness, I cried to my dad, “I’m so tired of breaking down. What’s the problem? There must be something more going on.” My dad said, “What we know is that you had a concussion.” He said that it made him think of the movie Apollo 13 where there’s an explosion and their flight plan is blown to smithereens. Mission control sends up the pragmatic query: What do we have? What’s working? My dad then said we’d keep working with what we have and work toward healing. It was one of those beautiful moments that has crystallized all the struggle into one reality: all is not lost. If you have strong relationships and a wise owl on your shoulder, whoever that may be (even if it’s you! Especially if it’s you), you can do anything. This time next year, I’ll be stronger than I am today. My healing time horizon is infinite, and that’s more than enough time. #anniversary #brainiversay #concussion #heal #healing #inspire #inspiration #instagood #instagram #photo #photography #tbi #youcandoit
One of the most painful fallouts of the accident was the damage to my short-term memory.
For months it made it difficult to pray. For the first few months, I couldn’t even hold the thought I wanted to pray long enough to get it out. It was a real struggle, and the damage to my perception of my own spirituality was quite devastating. I didn’t feel like I could really rely on God in the time I needed Him most, needed any assurance that all would be well, that God still had a plan for me.
But day after day, I talked myself into it. I exercised every bit of faith I could muster. I kept returning to God and Christ. I prayed in the shower. I clung to whatever shred of hope I could while my life slowly reassembled itself.
I trust that in that time of deepest trial, and even to this day, that God listened to my broken prayers. I had some miraculous answers, and usually on a day after I managed to humble myself to dust and beg for assistance.
I still need that kind of strong prayer. But even though I don’t often get there, God is still listening to me, and maybe one day this will all make sense.