All the things I thought I’d lost

abstract checklist with Xes beside the lines
I used to feel like this was what I could do – nothing.

I was going through some scrap paper, the other day, and I came across a printout of a list of things I’d gradually lost in the several years after my latest TBI in 2004. They gradually drifted away, and I thought they were gone for good.

Here’s the list I compiled:

Things I have progressively lost over the past several years

  • Love of reading books
  • Going to the beach
  • Going to the gym

All three of these things were so central to my life, once upon a time.

Then I stopped being able to do them.

And I thought they were gone for good.

Now it’s not like that anymore.

I can do them again.

See? Things can change. It’s taken years and years, but things did change for the better.

Now, I still have my days when reading and going to the beach and going to the gym are the last things I want to do. I’m too tired. Or I’ve got other things I’d rather be doing. But even in those times when I have to force myself to do them (if I must), I can find a way to make it okay. I can find a way to manage the situation – and also manage my own state of mind. The situation doesn’t rule me, anymore.

And that’s the most that I can ask for, really. It’s all I want.

Onward.

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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.

22 thoughts on “All the things I thought I’d lost”

  1. That is great you can do these things again. If nothing else you have a choice. We’ve reached the point where we must stay close to home. That works well for writing and photography. I must stay creative.

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  2. I know your feeling. My initial TBI was in 1993 and I had no idea at the time how much my life was going to change. I’m finally beginning to get it – some of who I was is never going to come back. Working really hard and paying close attention helps me stay focused and I’m able to charge ahead. However, I fall often and have sustained another 13 severe blows to my head since the initial one. I feel a bit of me escaping each time I take a fall.

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  3. It’s good to know you read gain. I’ve lost half of each eye. So reading is minimal and migraine inducing. The eyesight will never return but maybe I will build up a tolerance so this gives me hope. Cheers,H

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  4. Ah, well, I wish I could… What works for me, is putting my energy into getting out of my head and putting my energy into some sort of beneficial action. Either that, or going back to bed. Hope you feel better soon.

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  5. I hear you. There are a number of other things I seem to have lost permanently, including all the energy I once had. Part of it is making peace with the limits I have now. Then again, these kinds of changes might have taken place anyway, as I get older. It’s just that I seem to have gotten old a lot faster than I thought I would.

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  6. Ah, yes – repeat blows to the head will do that. Is there a particular reason you keep getting hit on the head? Is there a pattern to it, by any chance? Any activity that’s more dangerous now than before? I avoid a lot of things I used to do, because I just don’t have the balance and the energy and quick reflexes to keep myself safe. TBI does a number on your risk assessment, so I tend to err on the side of caution. I hope you are finding new pieces of yourself, at the same time.

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  7. Sorry to hear that. Audiobooks? I can’t say I’d have much motivation, if I got migraines from reading. I didn’t do much exercise for a few years, because of migraines. It wasn’t much fun. I gained a lot of weight it’s taking me a long time to burn off. I’m getting there, but I can’t help but wonder where I’d be now, if I’d been able to exercise all those years.

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  8. Look at you. You’re writing. You’ve turned to something that gives you pleasure while not requiring so much physical energy. Writing is something you may not have had time for at different stage in your life. Some people don’t explore their interests and talents, they give up and waste away.

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  9. I continue to fall as I have no core balance. Once I begin to lose balance, I know I’m going down. The other contributing factor is that I have no feeling from my knees down due to neuropothy. I love to garden and it’s my only stress reliever but have had to cut back some because that’s where I most often fall. Lately the falls have come with broken bones so I’ve started making modifications. I’m also a 24/7 caregiver of my husband and it takes its own toll on me. I can relate totally to your not having the energy and the quick reflexes that you used to have. I anger over not being able to find the words to use that came naturally when I speak or write. Now I find myself living with a dictionary beside me because I don’t trust myself. Because TBI’s are invisible to others, there’s little understanding in others as to what it’s really like to lose so many parts of yourself and the effort to find yourself all over again.
    How often do you post. I enjoyed reading your blog. Sheri

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  10. Wow, sorry to hear you’re having all those issues, and broken bones on top of it. It’s tough, especially as a caregiver for someone else. I try to post at least a couple times a week, but lately I’ve been doing more. I hope you can find your way back and find the strength to not only keep going, but have love and purpose in your life.

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  11. It’s been a long time since I watched that video. I should check him out again. I think I did try something, maybe a supplement he talked about? But it didn’t do anything for me at all. Everybody’s different.

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