After a brain injury, it’s awfully easy to get stuck in every single moment.
Everything seems different. Everything is different. Your brain has changed, and you have to devote a whole lot of time to each and every moment, as though it were the only one in your life.
Focusing on the present with laser-like attention became my main form of brain injury rehab. After all, I had to retrain my brain to make sense of what was going on around it, and I had to acclimate (all over again) to certain things I had once taken for granted.
Like brushing my teeth and taking my shower and getting dressed in the proper order each morning.
Like washing dishes and cooking and fixing simple snacks without losing my temper.
Like going to bed at a decent hour and getting up to exercise each morning.
The things that I had once taken for granted… well, that familiarity was taken from me, when I fell in 2004. And everything fell apart.
We don’t realize till it’s gone, how much we really do take for granted, and how much we depended on the predictability to structure our lives. When it disappears, all hell breaks loose. Literally.
But now, after 10+ years of really drilling down on the details of every day, moment to moment, I seem to have turned a corner. And now I’m looking at the “long haul” — what’s ahead of me, not next week or next month, but 10 years down the line… 20… 30… and beyond. I wasn’t born yesterday, but I also come from a long-lived family, and I can realistically expect to live at least 20 years longer than my peers. Maybe even longer than that.
So, I’m shifting my attention away from immediate stuff and concentrating on the big picture. What else is out there? What else can I learn? How else can I grow? Where can I find interesting things to expand my mind and life?
It’s all out there, waiting for me. And it is for you, too.
3 thoughts on “In it for the long haul”
Reblogged this on Traumatic Brain Injury There is Support.
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Thank you very, very much for this much needed post. It helps me. My TBI is from an 18 wheeler hitting me. (His fault entirely) Anyway, I’m only 7 years into this “new normal” . I appreciate your insights and your years of experience that gives you this insight for this TBI walk. I’m not where you’re at, but I hope to be soon.
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Thanks for writing. That’s pretty amazing that you survived being hit by an 18 wheeler. I can’t help but think these things happen for a reason, though who knows why?
One day at a time, putting one foot in front of the other, we progress. Sometimes things just “click”. And other times, it seems like nothing’s moving for long stretches… weeks, months, years… then all of a sudden something fits in place.
The best we can do is just keep on. The brain is amazing, and it has its own timetable, so hang in there. It can get better.