Two Years…After Brain Injury by David Grand

Coming Up on Two Years…After my Brain Injury

by David A. Grant

In a few days, I mark yet another milestone. It was on November 11, 2010 that I was struck while cycling. Two years ago, I was living the last few days of my pre-brain injury life, never knowing what the hand of fate was about to deal me. For many years, my dad has said that if he had the chance to look into a crystal ball to view the future, he would most likely pass. When I was a younger man, I simply could not understand his perspective.

Now I do.

Knowing that difficulty was coming in a year, a moment, or even in a few days would have robbed my ability to simply enjoy the moment. I now see the practical wisdom in my dad’s perspective. Seems that the older I get, the smarter he gets.

It’s been a long time since my emotions have been on such a free-fall pendulum ride.  I can go from more content than I’ve been in a long time to tears in less time than it took you to read this. And I am awash with emotion.

I find myself looking back over the past two years and wonder how I’ve made it so far. In the half-century of my life so far, the last couple of years have been the most difficult of my life. Never, as a younger man, did I ever envision a brain injury. It was not even within the realm of possible. Bad things happen to other people. They happen to people you read about in the newspaper, people you see on TV, but to have something like this happen to me was not part of the plan.

People get older, they marry their sweethearts if they are lucky, they stay married if they are luckier.  Children come along, grow as they should, and life moves forward.  A brain injury is not on anyone’s Wish List.

But we get what we get. I’ve long since learned that the key to a reasonably happy life is to play best whatever the hand of fate deals you.

Over the last couple of years, the obstacles I’ve faced have seemed insurmountable, yet I am able to write about them. I’ve had to learn a new way to speak. I’ve had to learn to simply take it easy and to be gentle to myself. The learning continues as I am more aware of my limitations than I have ever been. Brain weariness, mental exhaustion and brain fog are often my new new constant companions.

Life is funny. Long before my accident, I was known to be an optimist. Thankfully, I still look to the good, to the positive, even after my injury. There are some positives to all of this. Odd as it may seem, I work hard at finding things to be grateful about. Things that would not have come to pass had it not been for my accident. Like many survivors, many of my closest friends have simply faded away. I hold no anger or animosity. Brain injury makes many people uncomfortable.

But a real miracle has happened. Though old friends are never truly replaced, I find myself now part of an amazing community of people. I have a love that I never knew myself capable of for people whose struggles match my own. My new “family” from my TBI support group has filled the void left by those from my past, who knew the “old David,” who have chosen to move on.  These are people as innocent as I was on the day I was hurt, who have all come together in a spirit of shared love, respect and most importantly- compassion and understanding, to support each other. I am truly blessed beyond measure that the Power behind the universe that kept me alive the day of my accident also brought these wondrous souls into my life.

Just the other day, I read an amazing statement…

“Be grateful each & everyday with your life that you have, because there’s somebody out there that would love to switch places with you in a heartbeat.”

When I embrace this concept, really wrap my mind around it, I see that things could have been vastly different.  Yes, I am reinventing myself after brain injury. But the good news is that I am able to do this. However haltingly, I am still capable of moving forward.

And I find myself grateful for what I have. And think less about what I have lost.

About the Author

David A. Grant is a writer based in New Hampshire and the author of Metamorphosis, Surviving Brain Injury. A survivor of a harrowing cycling accident in 2010, David openly shares his experience, strength and hope as a brain injury survivor.

For more information, please visit www.metamorphosisbook.com/

October 30, 2012

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.