I’m not gonna lie to myself, my head is a pretty dark place right now. Then again this was not unforeseen, I knew that my time on my current placement would be my biggest mental challenge I’ve faced for a while.
I’ve been in a coma, what can beat that right?
It’s getting to the point now where so many people are briefly coming into my life and doing a runner when they see what things are really like and the drama that my brain-injured-aura seems to (unwontedly) attract, that it is starting to hurt a bit.
I suppose I can’t blame them, it is a lot to get your head round, people just want an easy life.
A recent telephone conversation with a tutor from my uni:
‘Let’s be honest with each other. Please say it how it is. Do you really think I can do this now?’ I’d asked.
‘Mikey, I know you’re in a lot of pain. It’s been such a long time you’ve been trying to do this. But only YOU know the answer’.
My symptoms make the world a scary place. My experiences has also lead to it being a lonely place.
The exhaustion is relentless, the headaches are piercing, the memory loss and lack of concentration is maddening, the panic and self doubt, long with the obsessions over my insecurities make me sad, the memories of everything bring pain and the nightmares and terrors are horrifying and yet still as common as ever. It’s like living in hell at the moment.
I remember before I’d had my injury, people always liked me wherever I went.
It doesn’t last long now. Or to be more accurate, people don’t last long. I thought I didn’t care, but when you have so few people in your life after all these years, it starts to make you question your motives.
I sometimes wonder if one day I’ll find someone who actually likes the real me, not just the one with the tattoos and humour that you see at first glance who smells nice (CK one, £20).
I’m sure I will, I know there must be something I’m not quite doing right. I’m not exactly a social butterfly (more like a social mosquito). But remember, I’m still learning to do everything all over again after my accident, so I might get it wrong on occasions.
Brain injury is such a hard condition to comprehend, most doctor’s don’t understand the complex and vague (yet torturous and very real) torment that comes from surviving one.
I realised something recently, which was that when people see me they often see this:
Which must be misleading, because I have also had this:
And when people take a second glance at me, I think they see bits of that last picture.
Life is busy and full of challenges, we all struggle and we all have that in common, that’s why I think I understand the repelling quality which I seem to have on people!
Since my accident, I’ve pursued my nursing with tunnel vision for many reasons, but two important ones are:
1. I love kids, and they never see my brain injury, so I feel normal around them and enjoy making them laugh by being inappropriate in ways other people might not be.
2. Since my accident I don’t have much to lose. Before you think of suggesting my daughter and family, lock yourself in a room, close your eyes and meditate over it for 100 hours. It’s not an answer that can be explained, only felt.
Life is full of ups and downs, I think it’s how we deal with the downs which will define our levels of contentment in this crazy ride we call life. So I guess I’ll try my best to make the best of the ‘downs’, whilst not letting it get me ‘down’ (see what I did there?). After all, I’ve been here before. Many times. The pain is getting worse as each year passes, but I won’t give up yet.