Im back! Did you miss me? I know I did.
This time of year is always bitter sweet, it’s so emotional and this in its self is a challenge. I still question myself and the understanding I have of my emotions purely because it’s only been in the last year I’ve learnt to cry again. In the lead up there’s always raw moments, you cannot not help but think about it, regardless of what “it” is. On any anniversary whether it’s a happy one, sad one, or even a bit of both its always going to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up or in my case direct me back into the whirl wind battle that was the accident.
How is it 4 years? 1460 days, 35040 hours, 2102400 minutes yes I did the math. I have lived through every single second of someone I once knew. Grief is a funny thing, you somehow learn to live with it and through the pain. It gets easier but it doesn’t mean you are over them or you’ve learnt to replace them. You manage to find a way to adapt, adjust without ever filling the void but you remould yourself with that missing piece of the puzzle forever lost.
It’s actually scary how fast the time has gone! When you live in the moment it feels never ending, but sat here thinking about my journey it’s actually unbelievable.
The road I have been on, I don’t even know where to start. It’s hard to comprehend that this time 4 years ago I was in intensive care not knowing that I had to fight this bumpy road. I have to say im proud of myself and for the first time I am actually REALLY proud of myself!!
Even to this day I don’t know how I’ve done it? The unimaginable happened on a freak fall, where my life literally did a 360 and then some. I have had to learn from this experience and it’s been amazing, tough but amazing. I’m not sat here saying it’s been an amazing experience in the sense it has been enjoyable because it really hasn’t, there has been many times where I didn’t think I could do it and wanted to give up on everything, but then I realised that im one of many people that suffer with the after math of a brain injury. Looking back its breaks my heart what I’ve been through and what I’ve lost I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but if it hadn’t had that awful accident would I be in this privileged position now?
(bear with me now as this can be a two sided coin)
In relearning who I am, to talk, to walk to adjust to this new chapter that is my life; I’ve gained some people in my life that I don’t think I would ever have had the chance of having in my last life.
The people I’ve met through my rehab/ hospital are inspiring. What they’ve been through, what they are still going through and how they managed the unmanageable is breath taking. If I can look back in a few years’ time and see if I’ve accomplished half of what they have, then I will give myself a pat on the back.
I don’t think anyone will ever truly understand what some of us are fighting, they are battles you cannot see and we are literally trying to piece back certain parts of life to fit into some kind of normal. We are doing the best we can. Life isn’t all rosy but add a bit of glitter and anything can look amazing from the outside.
I for one am a 31year old single/ divorced girl trying to do what every other 31year old girls are doing. The difference is that where I’ve been so public about my journey, I’ve have only shown people want I want them to see. I want to be just a “normal girl” living like any other girl so in that sense social media is a false life, anyone can make out they are living the dream but in reality i’m giving a brief snippet of the positive side of my life not dwelling on the tough times, when i’m battling behind closed doors that’s my choice not to show it. I don’t need to be reported by others making out that i’m putting this ‘disability’ on (laughable) that my speech is ‘fake’ and I forget the way I had to completely relearn how to talk in the last 3 ½ years. This is not fake. This is not for show.
I choose to raise awareness about “brain injuries” because the battle in your recovery of coming to terms with what has happened, how you are learning to move forward, how its changed your life, your families lives and the ones that support you it is a big enough challenge as it is. Not only that but the bullying that I’ve been subject too over the last four years is beyond anything I can ever believe could happen.
I don’t need to be reminded or challenged about my injury or how I manage my injury because I do that myself. All I’ve ever asked is to maybe educate people in the understanding of a “brain injuries”
Statics show that on average 954 admissions per day to UK hospitals are because of an acquired brain injury. That basically shows that there’s 1 tbi or abi being admitted every 90 seconds. (These statics are from 2016-2017 that was an increase in 10% from 2015) the worst part of it and my reason why I started talking and helping others was because many survivors leave hospital without any support.
I am very, very lucky to be where I am in my recovery and I only wish that I will keep going, pushing myself further but like anyone else there are bumps in the road along the way.
I was unbelievably lucky last October I got to take part in “the mission to Namibia” with The Sliverlining Brain injury charity. I haven’t done myself justice here, as I wanted to share my full story with you not long after I returned from Africa because the word “Namibia” for me brings me so much magic. To try and put into words what this unbelievable experience was like is going to be so surreal in itself and I owe my readers and sponsors the opportunity to feel some of that magic I felt and to know how special the people were that I met along the way. So I hereby promise you, that better late than never my following post will be dedicated to my “mission to Namibia 2018” one year on!!
The people I met while doing this challenged changed my life in more ways than one and I think or I’d like to think that the challenged changed me as a person as well. Like I said previously the people I’ve met along the way in my recovery I don’t have enough words to even do them justice. Survivors, carers, volunteers, families, therapist. I honestly count myself lucky to have met them, to have the privilege to know them and that they have been a part of my journey is something very special. This is where I can say these types of experiences are amazing. These people are amazing. I would not have had this and those special people who are my friends, family that are a part of me I feel blessed. So as much as I may cry or have my down days or ask why I had to suffer this awful injury would I have theses meaningful experiences, friends, families and charities’ without it?
I don’t think I would.
I know in the last four years I’ve been through heart break, mourning, rebuilding and trying to understand everything that has happened. I will never be fully over with what has happened but I’ve learnt a way to make the best of a bad situation. I try my hardest to turn all the negativities & challenges into positives and I truly have found my passion in helping others and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
I have such a strong support network that include my family and my friends and I can only thank them for putting up with me because I know i’m not easy. I know I’ve changed. I know I’ve lost who I was/ who I am. I know I put on a great act and try and be strong so to those ones that do have to pick up my pieces I cannot thank you enough for getting me through it. I am sorry to those that I hurt in the making of finding who I was when I didn’t understand my injury and what had happened. I can only move forward with all the new information I have now learnt and have taught myself to get back up from rock bottom and keep putting that one step in front of the other.
We are all going to have hiccups here and there, its life. It’s how we handle them. I am the worst for self-destruct that’s me being totally honest.
In the beginning of my recovery I was told not to set myself goals that were too out of reach as your peaks and troughs would be so high and low it can set you up for a fail. I seemed to manage this once I understood the meaning and having those experiences, but the reason for which I am so sorry for being so silent and having not written since last year’s post was I did exactly that.
Sept 19th 2018 I was mentally prepared for a new start. Starting to focus solely on me, watching myself grow and finally finding peace within me and my recovery journey. I had set myself up with believing that Africa was going to give me this closure and finally allowing me to give 100% focus on my recovery but actually it was unfair for me to think I could brush passed all those underlying factors. While in Namibia surrounded by the best team and I cannot thank them enough!! But I did unfortunately suffer from a few seizures which knocked my confidence, it actually broke me. It felt and reminded me so much of when I first came home from hospital and I had professionals in front of me telling me that I wasn’t making up my injury. So it instantly took me back to that moment and I think I felt like I had let myself down. Stupid I know and not many people will understand that but its ok because it was my battle and the following months after Africa (October through to January) luckily I had my family and certain friends to pull me through it.
So here I am. I am back.
Writing has always since my fall been my escape. Talking through what I was going through I never realised how much it helped others and myself. Being able to talk to people all over the world understanding each other’s journeys it’s hard for people to understand unless you have faced similar challenges. Like I’ve said from day one, if I can help one person through their journey or someone they know then this fight, my bumpy glittery road (haha) is 100% worthwhile.
I promise I will not leave it this long again.
So here’s to you.
Be you, be strong and be happy