From the words of Sarah Courter. “So, what happens for us when we look back on our lives and see the myriad of ways things could have gone? Is there regret? Doubt? Fear? Relief? Is there intense love for the person we’ve become? I hope the latter, for us all, I hope for it fiercely. Because that’s truly the only reaction that serves us.”
We’ve been following David’s story on his TBI Hope & Inspiration page, below is an excerpt we wanted to share. You can follow his journey here.
Letting go is hard.
Perhaps the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
But it seems to be getting to be about time that I let go of who I was. This is not a spur of the moment decision.
James Taylor got it right…
“Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. Seen lonely days that I thought would never end.”
This has been building for months now. Maybe longer. I’m well into year four of my still new TBI life
I’ve been not-so-secretly clinging to the belief that I might just come back. You know, wake up from this all like it was a long, surreal dream. I’d stretch out a bit, kiss my wife Sarah on the cheek and say, “what a dream I just had.”
But there is no waking up from a brain injury.
So much of my life was defined by black or white. I was well over forty when I started to see the true beauty in grey. But brain injury is like pregnancy. You can’t be a little bit pregnant. You either are – or you are not.
Just like a brain injury.
Either you are a card-carrying member of the TBI club. Or you have an undamaged brain. No middle ground, kids.
There is a profound sense of loss. One beyond my ability to even attempt to put into words.
I died on November 11, 2010.
But paradoxically, I was born on the same date.
For those without a brain injury, this sounds odd.
But if you have a brain injury, you know EXACTLY what I mean.
My mother-in-law gave me a copy of a book called, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”
In his book, author Jean-Dominique Bauby shares a haunting line.
So haunting, in fact, that I quoted him in the opening chapter of my own book.
“I am fading away. Slowly but surely. Like the sailor who watches the home shore gradually disappear, I watch my past recede. My old life still burns within me, but more and more of it is reduced to the ashes of memory.”
Time passes. I find it harder and harder to recall who I was before my accident. Like trying desperately to remember the face and voice from a loved, but long departed relative, I try to recall who I was.
And I can’t.
It’s time to give up the ghost. To move on to this next chapter of my life.
It’s scary and exhilarating at the same time. Not many of us have the opportunity to live two lives in one. To rebuild a person from the inside out.
But we, we who are affected by traumatic brain injury can do just that.
No words of wisdom, no thought provoking closing thought. Just sharing more of my journey with you.
And my hope these days is that maybe, just maybe, you won’t feel so alone in this.
Peace to all living second lives.