Before June 11, 2012 I would consider myself to be athletic. In my “old” life I played softball so before June 11, I could easily catch a ball, track a ball and use my visual spatial skills but after June 11, that dramatically changed. Found this out in Occupational therapy. I was aware that my visual skills were messed up because I used to go out to the lake and I would mistake geese for rocks but then the rocks would move and freak me out so I had an idea that my brain wasn’t receiving the right message from my eyes. Then this was confirmed on one of my numerous visits to the neurologist. But I had no idea that if someone was to stand over me as I laid on the ground and told me to my face that they were about to drop the ball and for me to catch it that I couldn’t. I had no idea that the ball would smack me in the face before I could even react. That’s one of the many things I learned in occupational therapy about my “new” self.
Another lovely thing I learned is I can’t handle motion or movement of any kind. I was asked by my occupational therapist one day if I could swing. I hadn’t been on a swing in years & definitely hadn’t been on one after my wreck so I answered “of course.” I was once again proven wrong. One of the exercises I had to do in occupational therapy was sit on a tire swing and “swing”. But for me I just kind of sat because I very quickly learned I couldn’t handle the movement. Yes I, a 25-26 year old woman, did most of my therapy in the pediatric gym. Talk about humbling. But as I was fighting my way back through recovery I was basically a child. I had reverted back due to my brain injury. I did a lot of “fun” stuff in occupational therapy.. I played Where’s Waldo, attempted origami (but let’s be honest I just folded paper and had difficulty with that), I did puzzles at 5-10yr old level, played a demonic board game that sent my PTSD in overdrive from the excessive beeping and did a lot with the lovely metronome. Gosh I HATED that thing. It’s truly amazing the stuff I would work on in there and how simple it was but yet for me I felt like my therapists expected me to learn rocket science in a week.
My therapy family:
I don’t know where I would be today without my therapists. I was truly blessed with a great team. I believe I had almost every one of them work with me. They all saw me progress from my wheelchair and crazy hair to my walker and then to walking in and looking “normal” on the outside. All of them helped me on my road to recovery. They were my greatest supporters and some turned into great friends. They knew more about my life than some of my closest friends. These days of therapy were in a sick way probably the best days of my life. I will forever hold these dark days very close to my heart. My therapists gave me hope that my bad times wouldn’t last forever and they gave me hope in humanity. I believe I was meant to have each of them come into my life at the times that they did. During my days and years of therapy I met great genuine people and I got the opportunity to put myself back together BUT unlike many I got to choose how I wanted my pieces to fit. I decided how I was going to be put back together and what my end result was going to be. And I believe I did a pretty good job.
Everybody has gone through something that has changed them to where they can never go back to the person they were before. Unfortunately for me I just had to go through everything all at once. My circumstances may have sent me to the edge and may have burned everything down around me but just like a Phoenix I have risen back up. I chose to not stay down because during this process I have learned what I want out of life and I can’t achieve any of it if I stay down on the ground where pain and sadness want to keep me. If I want to achieve anything I have to stand up and walk with courage, so that’s exactly what I’m doing.