So much has changed and is different now. Different and yet the same. I feel like I have always lived mindfully, while appreciating life all the way around. However, there is something about surviving a trauma that either makes you bitter or better. I can genuinely say that I am acutely more aware of details of various things now. I appreciate the big picture in life in a different way than before. I can say that everything comes at a greater effort and sometimes overwhelming struggle now. Yet, at the same time, there are things that I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to experience.
I have also become more intolerant…… of various things really – mostly incompetence or ineptitude from others. It seems like I notice those things more than I ever did before; or perhaps it is just I have less patience for it. I also feel a new level of empathy and compassion for others in certain situations. It forces me to constantly self-reflect and be mindful of those around me…to even a heightened extent of vigilance at times. I feel my body now in ways I didn’t feel my body before. This is continuously intriguing, educational, and numbing. Increased activity, while good for a person’s health, both physical and mental, and something I always enjoyed – is even more challenging for me now; limitations that I did not have before the wreck are a part of my daily walk and a motivational marathon or negotiation with my own body and mind seems to be the new normal.
I have learned a lot about myself and others through my recovery. I have learned that I am stronger than I ever thought was possible. I have endured physical pain at a level I never thought imaginable, and the craziest of odds have allowed me to live freely in this body and this life, despite all the statistics that said I should not have survived. If it was a rare injury, situation, survival, etc – that is what happened to me. I am a miracle.
Constructing a post trauma identity has been enormously difficult. Trauma can change us. It does change us. I have found it difficult to keep to a daily routine, move courageously towards greater self-understanding, self-awareness, and focus on coming to terms with all the things that I have seemingly lost. I am working daily at rediscovering my sense of self so I can honor who I was before the wreck. At the same time I am filled with an amazing source of faith, HOPE, and determination to make a difference; move forward, take things at a pace I am comfortable with, while appreciating the things I have also gained, and embracing who I am now, and who I am becoming.
Many thanks to my mom who started the first blog for me while I was in the hospital and after I was released (please be aware that this will take you to a different site entirely – to come back just bookmark www.hopetbi.com in your bookmarks).
My current desire is to bring awareness and education overall to Polytrauma and Traumatic Brain Injury. My desire is to be authentic in my blogging, presentations, compilations, and in relating my experiences. My desire is to provide impactful information, while continuing to evolve as a person in this fearful and wonderful world.