“Actually, It’s love. I’m in love with her, okay? If you’re looking for the word that means caring about someone beyond all rationality and wanting them to have everything they want no matter how much it destroys you, it’s love. And when you love someone you just, you…you don’t stop, ever. Even when people roll their eyes, and call you crazy. Even then. Especially then. You just– you don’t give up. Because if I could just give up…if I could just, you know, take the whole world’s advice and– and move on and find someone else, that wouldn’t be love. That would be… that would be some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for. But I– that is not what this is.” – T.M.
Having lived 17 years before my brain injury, I’d say I was fairly well adapted to that life….here I am, near 16 years later, and I am fairly well adapted to a disabled life.
I love my family very dearly and my old friends, but there are many times, when with them, it is as if they are seeing me through a foggy window….still remembering the old me as I was, but seeing and experiencing the new me as I am.
Being a keen observer of the human condition, I pick up on nonverbal signals, these tiny cues. They don’t yet know how to act around me and keep waiting for me to transform back into what I was before I was changed by pain.
I understand the dilemma and the yearning…they miss their son, their brother, their friend. I miss him less and less everyday. The naive, though brilliant, little punk I was… Ha!
I realize that the main reason I even go out is to distract from the physical pain. Even now, 4:10am, my hand is a throbbing mass of unbridled tension. It keeps a guy up at night.
I write this for understanding, so others can see behind the scenes, can gain a glimpse of what I live through everyday. So they can realize that I am happy to be alive, even if in pain. Every day is a gift, every moment, every now.
The struggles we face in life come down to a few choices. Yeah, I could easily have become an addict. After my accident I was on massive amounts of opioids (Vicodin, Percocet, Ocycontin, Morphine, etc etc). I made a choice, around 21 or 22, that I was not going to become dependent on these drugs. I weened myself off and only take pain medication, now, when I am in extreme pain. Yeah, my pain tolerance is much higher, but pain is pain. It sucks!
Bonjour et c’est la vie!