Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Zip ties and duct tape

Found this story while sniffing around the other day. This TBI survivor finds while doing art she feels like a whole human being. Something to shoot for!

Feeling like a whole human being does not come easily anymore. It's not an everyday thing, far from it. The default everyday thing is trying to follow old familiar paths and finding barriers, then stumbling over myself. For example, every time I try to remember something simple, juggle more than one piece of information, or pack my things for the Route 66 trip I am aware of not being whole. This gets old fast.

Yesterday I was in Woodside at the hardware store, looking for zip ties and a small roll of duct tape. Needed for the on-bike tool kit. The clerk pointed me one way for the zip ties, another way for the tape. His pointers were detailed, so after looking for tape I remembered zero about zip ties. Did I go back, get the instructions repeated? No, I wandered the aisles for 10 minutes until zip ties found me. Post-TBI, routine tasks just take more time.

For some reason we humans naturally keep trying to go back to the way things were. How easy it is to be dismayed, disappointed, discouraged when we find something different...

This quote from her blog actually made me feel better because it tells it like it is:
As for my own healing, I had to work through the existential terror, anguish and despair of not knowing who I was anymore, of having to contend with a person I did not know, could not count on and did not like - the new me in all her pale splendor!
My brain is not what it was. I can try to make it better, but for sure it will be different. Right now, unfamiliar. Christine of SBI says that if she could give one message to TBI survivors it would be to just move forward. Don't expect your brain to go back to where it was. It's OK not to go back. You can learn to like the new you.

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