“If I didn’t already know I would never believe that you were in such a horrible car wreck and that you suffer from a severe traumatic brain injury. You look fine.” I have heard comments like this more than once. I take it as a huge compliment since I have worked incredibly hard to get to this point. I had some pretty big obstacles that stood in my way, but I just tackled them one by one. And by Gods grace I came out on top.
Studying my “old” life:
I quickly learned that to get better I was going to have to fully dedicate myself to my recovery, so that’s what I did. Due to my brain injury, I have a hard time sleeping because my brain doesn’t know how to completely shut off and I struggle with night terrors from flashbacks. In the beginning this was very hard to deal with because night time is already so hard for me. But I had to make a choice, do I sulk in my misery or do I try to turn my lack of sleep into a positive? I chose the latter. Every night when I couldn’t sleep I would go through pictures, I would study faces and I would make chronological notes so I could hopefully regain some of my past memories that were lost. This was an exhausting process and it was quite defeating in the beginning because I couldn’t remember much, but then I got back on Facebook and I used it as a study tool. I would go through my friends and try to remember how I knew them and what I knew about them. I did this every night, I still do this but now it’s not at such an extreme extent because thanks to the chronological notes I took and studied over and over I have retrained my brain and regained some of my past memories.
During my recovery I have suffered heartbreak and loss of loved ones but I always reminded myself to just breathe. In these moments of hardship I took deep breaths and told myself “your story isn’t over yet.” I thought of solutions for whatever problems I was dealing with at the time and I promised myself that I wouldn’t let my worry or grief control me. I would remain in control of my actions. I reminded myself everything I need is already within me. I held the power, I had control over my mind. I could choose to think positively about my situation or I could be negative. I chose positive. I had to give myself positive affirmations. I had to remind myself I am strong, nothing and no one is going to break me. I will emerge from these ashes that have tried to bury me.
Finding my way:
In the beginning I would grieve the girl I was before, the one I don’t remember and never met. I would long for the person I could’ve been, but one day it finally hit me. There was no other way for my story to go. This has been Gods plan for me all a long. There is no what if, should’ve or could’ve for me. It was always going to turn out like this because God needed me to go through my wreck and hardships so He could mold me into the woman I needed to become. This is why if I had the option to go back in time and make a different choice I would still choose to drive through the intersection. Although it took me almost dying five times, I was given the greatest gift on June 11. I was given new eyes and a new perspective for my life.
My passion has always been psychology and pursuing it for the purpose of helping others. Now with what I have been through I can fulfill my passion by telling my story and speaking to others. Helping those who have suffered know that their struggles don’t define them. If they are willing to work for it they can come out of the pit of misery and relish in the light again. I’m still learning how to stand in the light because I stood for so long in the shadows but I’m growing more comfortable with it each day. For right now, I have had to put my goal of becoming a psychologist on hold but I believe that during this time of my life this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing to fulfill Gods purpose for me. With my new perspective on life I am eternally grateful. I am thankful for who I have become, and I am going to keep fighting for what I can be tomorrow. Life is full of give and take. Give thanks and take nothing for granted.