The ride that changed my life.

Hello, I am 29 years old, male, very active physically. 3 Years ago I crashed my bike and had a traumatic brain injury. For the first three months of my recovery I couldn't stand or walk in the mornings. I used to have to drag myself out of bed by my arms as though I were paralyzed in my legs, just to get to the bathroom. I had no one to help me. I am still mostly deaf in my right ear and sometimes have a pain that is so severe in my head that I can't move. It is physically debilitating. There is no injury quite like a brain injury, I sometimes wonder if it ever will really heal to the point that I don't have the physical symptoms. The ringing is so loud sometimes that I can't sleep even when totally exhausted. It took a lot of time and dedication to retrain my body to deal with this new condition. I regained my balance and am back at 100% physically almost all of the time. There are just a few days every couple months that I can't even sit up. It's hard to explain, it's like having a flash-bang go off every minute in front of you. You feel concuss and can't move, everything is irritating to the point of blind rage. It is always difficult to speak, I have to take a second to make sure I organize the words in my head an let them out correctly. Sometimes I forget simple words and get stuck on them. I still have some trouble organizing thoughts sometimes, I'm sure whoever reads this will notice how I jump from topic to topic and back. My friends close to me noticed a drastic change in my personality. They said it was like there was nobody home. The lights were on but no one was home. I still don't usually add to group conversations, it is difficult sometimes. I do better with one on one when communicating now. The only plus side I could say that came out of it is that I am much better at math then I ever was. After my accident I began making scribbles in a book about space travel and self-sustaining ecosystems. I lost something of myself but I don't think I could ever describe what it was. Maybe some ego loss that allowed me to have less tunnel vision and made me more open minded. I still don't really feel many emotion as that is the part of my brain that got hit the worst. Maybe the loss of emotion made me more calculated. I don't think I'll ever know. Whoever is reading this, I want you to know it will get better. Your pain is the loss of something you once were. You do not have to lose yourself to brain injury. Instead you can take it as a journey. A journey to discover this person you are now. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr said " A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.". You must realize that this is now your struggle, this is your battle. You have had an experience that changed you, deeply. You don't need to throw your life away because it isn't as you remembered. Embrace it, as it is your chance to see the world anew. There were times after my accident that I seriously contemplated taking my own life. The internal pain was too much to mount. I was facing a mountain, no, a whole new world. It seemed the pain would never go away and it seemed I would never be who I was before. I can tell you from my own experience, the pain does go away. It will slowly fade into the background as you discover this new you. I know I am not who I was before my accident, and I am ok with that. Maybe who I am now is better than who I was then. I have made peace with the physical troubles I have now and focus on other things. My art, my music, my scientific and meta-physical theories. They are what keeps me here and keeps my mind occupied and off the loss of my past self and out of the negative.

User Comments
Anon-1

Bike injuries are so hideous you have my sympathy - sorry you had to go through that.  I'm glad that you are moving on and feel better in yourself.  Hope it continues for you.