There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, right? Faith is believing that it is not a train barreling straight at you. Somewhere during the first year after my brain injury, I quit running like hell through the tunnel, scared to death all panicky and sweaty. I slowed down, calmed down, and developed the innate knowing that it was not a train coming at me and that somewhere down the tracks the darkness was going to lift and there would be sunshine. I am at the point now where I am walking...kind of sauntering and whistling even...and I can see the suns' light streaming in at the end of the tunnel and feel its warmth. Behind me is pitch blackness.
Believe it or not, I am grateful to have had my brain injury and would not go back to being the person I was before even if given the chance. "If you like where you are, then you can't complain about how you got there" is one of my favorite sayings these days. Wouldn't do any good anyway. Now, don't get me wrong. I would rather have my fingernails pulled off slowly with tweezers than go through the whole thing again, but the experience does have its benefits. Like any other seemingly "bad" thing, it has given me some profound gifts.
Let go of the past. A large part of my memory was wiped out with the brain injury. It follows no rhyme or reason as far as I can tell. While I can remember the words to almost every inane song that comes on the radio, the memories are not really there in detail for my sons' births. Pictures become my memories here if that makes any sense. I also do not remember all the little and some of the rather big hurts that I accumulated and lugged around everywhere with me over the years. They eventually became so heavy that they sunk the boat. I feel so much lighter now.
Appreciate the little things. When you have hit rock bottom there is no where to go but up. I used to "chug" my arms when walking because I did not know what else to do with them, and they did nothing naturally. Sure makes me like the the cool way they just automatically swing now without me even having to think about it. Just going to the grocery store used to make me break out in a sweat and had me mustering all my courage. "Please, please, please don't let the cashier be chatty," I would pray. Now, no problem, and I am the one with witty banter. While my speech is still affected and it is no where near sounding like the drunken slur that it once did, I sure wish I could just sing a song under my breath effortlessly. I'll get there one day.
Focus on the abundance. Before my brain injury, I had so much abundance in my life, but all I could see and obsess about over and over was what was absent. I have not been shopping except for necessities since the injury. Every time I open my closets, it is like going shopping. "Weee! Where did all these clothes come from?" Before, I had two sons living with me. I did appreciate them, but like any other full time, single parent, I would get annoyed much more easily by the little, every day things. I took them being in my everyday life for granted. They now live with their Dad in a different state. When they come in, I just revel in the energy they exude and notice and enjoy so many little things I did not before. Now, farting in the car, I don't think I will ever come to appreciate.
Have no fear. I used to be afraid. If you knew me, I don't think you ever would have known it. Tough girl. I put up a very brave front, and part of it was real, and I wanted the other part to be real very badly, but inside I was still terrified of just life. Over the last two and half years, I have had to draw on strength I didn't even know I had. I have learned that I can trust and depend on myself. For a person who had perfected playing the victim, that is major. Now, literally nothing scares me. Well, OK - maybe bungee jumping. I know pretty much that I can go through anything and even find some joy along the way. Bring it on!
I could continue, but you are probably getting bored. I can often be seen smiling or giggling to myself these days because, I know it sounds corny enough to make you wanna throw up - me too, but I actually see joy and find happiness all around me in the mundane everyday. Tee hee! It can never be taken away either. Pretty neat. As they say in yoga class "The better it gets, the better it gets!"