My answer to (almost) everything: Just Keep Going!

Okay, so I had a good session with my therapist, earlier today, and I did get to recount my long weekend in a way that sounded cogent to me. And I got to tell about how I have patched up a somewhat rocky relationship from many years of fits and starts and faux pas moments. I was actually able to carry on a conversation with someone who used to be really central to my life, but who had drifted away from me, over the course of the years, when I was being injured and not dealing with my symptoms at all.

But on Friday night, I was able to call this person and have an hour-long conversation about what my life has been like for the last two decades. And by the time we were done talking, this person was not trying to get off the phone and run like hell from me, the way they had in the past. I actually heard them saying, “It’s too bad you don’t have time to get together and have coffee tomorrow.”

Wonders really do never cease.

It seems that my newfound understanding of my limitations has actually allowed me to fix what was wrong with key elements of this connection I had with this person. Over the years, not knowing how prone I was to just go on and on and on, I would ramble and let myself get all tangled up in nonsensical chatter… or I would send letters that ranged and roamed and didn’t really have a point. Or I would send emails that were not only rambling, but also got a little too intimate at times — a little too close — to the point where (when I took a long, hard look at myself) I sounded more like a stalker, than an old friend.

I was actually creeping myself out there, for a while.

But then they got back in touch — I guess out of curiosity, just to see how crazy I was, this time. But this time, I wasn’t crazy. I had the awareness of being brain-injured… brain-damaged… and I was aware of the fact that I could very easily veer off course and become that old me that was so annoying and trying and alienating and freaky. I was conscious of how I talked, how I interacted, I kept the conversation on the phone going, I didn’t rush things, and I was able to stop and catch my breath and listen for clues about what the other person was talking about.

I actually did really well.

And the conversation we had was interesting and interactive. I was able to edit myself and keep myself on-topic. That’s something totally new.

Which goes to show that if I’m aware of my limitations and I develop coping strategies to deal with them, then I can be even more functional in my daily life, than if I pretend there’s nothing wrong — like I did for years. (Well, I can’t say I was necessarily pretending — I just didn’t have the awareness that I have now.)

So, if nothing else, this Thanksgiving gave me one more thing to be grateful for — the return of an old friend and a connection I have always valued.

Considering how few real friends I really have, that is priceless.

So, the next time I decide I’m going to give up… I’ll have to remind myself — Don’t. No matter how bad things may feel, no matter how bad my pain may be, no matter how confused and confounded I may seem at times, I still have my little victories, and as long as I don’t quit, don’t give up, don’t hang up the gloves and keep on fighting, I still have a chance at winning.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

One thought on “My answer to (almost) everything: Just Keep Going!”

  1. Great job my friend. Thank you for sharing. I like you found that when I stopped denying my reality, and for that matter buying into other people’s denial system (s) for me I was able to heal…actually begin to heal. I have written several articles on my process that you may be able to identify with my friend. By learning to accept myself, I let other people accept me. When I started to love and accept myself I found myself, I learned to trust the process, a loving God and myself. If you get a chance to read the below articles let me know if you can identify with my experience.

    Thank you for your time and kindness.

    Have a simply amazing rest of your week.

    Craig

    My 2 part series, Having an Invisible Disability and the Consequences of Denying my Reality.
    http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com/2007/08/21/having-an-invisible-disability-%e2%80%93-the-consequence-of-denying-my-reality%e2%80%94part-1/

    Traumatic Brain Injury and the Double Bind http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com/2007/08/28/traumatic-brain-injury-and-the-double-bind/

    Traumatic Brain Injury and the Deception
    http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/traumatic-brain-injury-and-the-deception/

    Like

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