I know when I’m pushing the limits of my brain too far when, as I’m sat on the computer writing this essay, the lines of the words written in front of me start to blur into one. My stomach starts rumbling, and a wave of nausea hits me as hard as a nurse hits their neighbour for waking them up during the day if they’re working night shifts.
When I stood up to increase the caffeine intake, I was unsteady on my feet as I walked to the fridge to get the milk.
Then came the marvellous pangs of lightening on either side of my temples.
‘Time to eat I reckon’ my Holmes-like intuition told me. My swallowing gets tricky when I get like this, so I just made one of my protein shakes instead of bothering with actual food.
I decided to call it a day. I lied in the dark, ate some food and headed off to pound some iron at the gym. When I went into boots afterwards, it hit me once again. I swayed as I stood in the cue, lightening was either side of my head. I spoke to the cashier and sounded like Chris Eubank on one of those dodgy Nescafe adverts he used to do.
The lisp and the swallowing is to do with cranial nerve damage, not the actual brain
It’s no drama. If I let these feelings scare me (like I used to) I wouldn’t be able to have a life, just like I didn’t for about 3 years when I was too scared to even leave the house, let alone study to be a children’s nurse. I like it now. I see it as a challenge. I can’t lose then because a challenge is what floats my boat.
My way of dealing with it, as with anxiety, is basically by turning around and saying (in my mind) ‘give me your worst. Will it kill me? No. even if it did, I’m knackered so an eternal sleep wouldn’t be the worst thing on the agenda. I’m not bothered. I’m bored’. I also laugh at absolutely everything and take nothing seriously.
My mentality does not hold fear. I’ve had to be this way since the injury, and now It has just taken over who I am. Thats why I don’t get embarrassed.
This really is an everyday thing for me, I just felt like writing it today. This is nothing different to the millions of TBI sufferers out there and what they have to live with everyday. I’m so lucky to be in my position; I can walk wash, clean myself, live in the present.. what else is there?
On the way back, driving through Westbourne, I decided to pull into the bus lane and give some money to a homeless guy I saw in the street. It was freezing and today was ‘payday’.
I was with Reese the other day, and I’ve got her into the habit of taking money and giving it to homeless people herself. I’ve explained why we should do this, and sometimes she even asks to do it, which makes me very happy to be alive.
I always talk to these guys, I always get into really good conversations with them. They’re the same as me, my family, my friends, I don’t understand why people wouldn’t want to talk to them. Especially seeing them lying in the street with only a duvet to keep them warm.
Oh, wait, sorry, no you’re right. They’re on drugs and alcohol.
That answer is the reason there will always be terrorists in the world.
Meditate over that one.
I trotted over and sat next to him. These people must see me coming and think
Shit, it’s HIM. He’s worse than bloody Jehova’s.
I asked him what lead him to sleep rough. He told me about his girlfriend who also sleeps rough.
‘Her name isn’t Becky is it?’ I asked
‘Yes, how did you know that?’ he said.
You might remember two blogs ago when I spoke about a similar experience with a young girl I met in a similar scenario. Well it turns out, that was his bird.
After I left, I realised that my damaged brain had totally forgotten something.
I carried on driving until I got home, collected a kick-ass hoody that I no longer wear, drove back to the street, pulled back into the bus lane and approached my new mate, Chris, who was still sat in the same place I’d left him.
‘Fancy this hoody?’ I said.
‘Yes definitely!’ he was really pleased. It was only when I put it on him did I realise that I needed to have a picture with him.
‘Mate. That hoody looks shit-hot on you. I’m gonna need a selfie’ I said, enviously. And probably through gritted teeth. It did look better on him than it did me.
And the rest is history. If you go to Westbourne and see homeless people sat around looking fly AF wearing ‘university of Southampton’ hoodies, a couple of smart cardigans and this bad-boy hoody below, you’ll know why. I’ve got about 8/9 bloody hoodies anyway, he’s doing me a favour.
P.s I felt rough AF here, that’s why I look so wrinkle-eyed.