Fixing what I couldn’t fix before

It’s time to replace the hydraulic lifts on my hatchback. They’ve been out of commission for several years, now, and my garage quoted me $140 to replace them. Really? A hundred and forty dollars?

Heck, the squeegee I carry with me to swipe off rainwater does the trick nicely. It’s just the right length to prop the hatch open.

But lately, I’ve become paranoid about the handle breaking. The hatch is not light — it’s a heavy sucker, and it seems to get heavier, every time I lift it up.

So, before I go out and run all my errands, I’m going to replace the lifts that I ordered online last week. They’ve been riding around in the back of my car for all this time, neatly packed in their box.

Time to do something about this. I don’t know exactly how to do it, but I know how to go about figuring it out. Then, when I’m done with that, I can get on with the rest of my day.

This is a new thing for me. I used to have so much trouble figuring out what things went in what order. As recently as 5 years ago, I literally could not figure out how to fasten a sagging curtain rod. I just sat and looked at the rod… and then got up and walked away, because the whole thing about seeing the process through from beginning to end was beyond me. So understanding what tools I needed to gather to get it done (just the correct screwdriver and a step-stool) was out of the question.

Looking back, I can’t believe it was that hard for me. But it was. Then, one day, I realized that I knew how to fix the sagging curtain rod, and I did it. In 15 minutes. Triumph.

Little by little, things like this are coming back to me. Stuff that used to baffle and defeat me, is slowly but surely becoming exercises in patience and persistence… and learning. Learning, learning, and learning some more.

Now it’s time to stop talking and get on with taking care of this  Onward.

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.

5 thoughts on “Fixing what I couldn’t fix before”

  1. I was subbing five years ago. People said I did pretty well. But they knew that they had to help me find the exit. In schools that I had been there day after day. I overhead two teachers talking. One was saying but he knows what he is doing in there. Look. And the other teacher said, “that’s implicit memory.” My vocabulary sucks for a teacher. I looked up the word “implicit”. I figured out that they knew I had a brain injury. But it still hadn’t sunk in. Back then I would not have begun to try and hang a curtain rod. But now I might try it. I try to read stuff and I last a page and usually forget it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You wonder how much of this is just the normal parts of aging.
    My friend in his 60’s has been very sharp his entire life, but i see real decline.
    Memory is very fascinating to begin with. My procedural memory went from having trouble writing to being able to juggle a soccer ball without being in touch with memories of playing.

    Do you notice that your dream life changed? For one, I dream almost the very instant that I fall asleep. 2. Most 90% are dreams of my life before the coma. 3. My struggle with ability to have sustained feelings seems to be that a.I lack some theory of mind b. I forget the feeling stuff.
    Can you relate to this?


  3. I’m sure age has something to do with it, but also our attitudes. I have had many elder relatives who lived well into their 90s and were sharp and vital… until they seemed to decide they weren’t anymore. My parents also began to show decline around the time they started calling themselves “elderly”. I think it’s environment, as well as other things.

    My dream life has been almost non-existent since my accident 10 years ago. I used to have brilliant, lucid, epic dreams that were clear mythic guideposts for me in my life. After the TBI, that went away. I do dream, now and then, and sometimes a lot in some stretches. But not like I used to. And I can’t remember them like I used to. And even when I do remember pieces of them, I don’t have the same emotional connection I once had. They used to be my friends. Now, they are strange, and they often take place in the same “areas” — I dream about the same cities, the same office buildings, the same countryside. It’s like there’s a country I visit in my sleep. But I rarely remember much about them.

    I miss remembering my dreams. I miss having those friends.


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