Image Description: Vibrant, abstract watercolour painting with pink, blue, white, green and yellow colours.
BY: FRANCE THERIAULT
The fog that permanently lives in your brain when you have a Traumatic Brain Injury is so often thick and invasive you don’t even realize it’s there. It can be a very discrete light presence and you may wonder at times if you are crazy because your perception is off.
You start a task then go to another room looking for something but you can’t remember what it is you came to find; or return to another room starting another project for a few minutes not being able to accomplish anything. This is a reality many of us experience daily at some point in our recovery. As for laughing or crying, which one will show up today? Maybe both, our lives are so unpredictable. Our normality is like a shadow we are always chasing without being able to catch up to it.
Our memory is volatile and our response to fatigue, stress or too much stimulation can leave us in a state of extreme chaos.
Our moods and personality can be altered by our Acquired Brain Injury. Sometimes we don’t have a filter so we explode or tell our loved ones or acquaintances how we feel or vent out our truth in a not so gracious way. We are not rude or insensitive, we are just incapable of responding with gentleness and tenderness. We are mostly reacting. Finding compassion for ourselves despite all our humanity is hard at times and the post-concussion symptoms are certainly a harsh fact to live with. I desire sharing with you the reality that finding your voice and delivering your message with assertiveness can be done in a loving way where both parties feel respected and heard.
Just like you I am trying to understand myself in this post-brain injury assignment. We are impatient and so eager to get better. We desperately desire to be different, to be ‘normal’ again. We are lost, or at least I was, for so long. We are exhausted but we keep going despite the challenges or the efforts it requires to find resolution. We know we are different and will never be exactly like before; we are a new version of ourselves- a collage between before and now.
Be patient my darling you will get there; meanwhile keep listening to the music in your head and if you feel like it, dance my lovely.
Photo credit @houseofdeanna
You can follow France on Instagram at @Standingbyyourside where she shares inspirational stories, sharing insights of living a beautiful and meaningful life eight years after having a Traumatic Brain Injury from a cycling accident.