The one thing that I have learned by watching people in waiting rooms at medical appointments (trust me I’ve seen plenty, more than I ever imagined existed or that I would be in), speaking with people who have gone through various detours in their lives (be it accident, abuse, job loss, etc.) and my own personal detour, is that we all go through a grieving process. Most professionals have told me there are 5 stages; Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Factors that may affect these stages are physical injuries, head injuries and the person’s outlook on life prior to the detour in life.
Aside from the scars; lack of energy; out bursts (ok - perhaps some would call it tantrums); and when I’m really tired, stressed or anxious - my child like voice and mannerisms that appear – If you saw me you would think - I was OK. What you wouldn’t see is the amount of energy it takes for me to stay focused in a conversation, the preparation that goes into making it possible for me to go out on my own, the results of having attempted to do things – usually a few days in the house/bed and the extra pain that results -, the emotional disappointment/frustration/depression at not being able to do the things I use to do independently, without much thought.
I am still here and breathing, despite the doctors, for 6 weeks, telling my family the outcome did not look good, as I lay in a coma. So I guess I am a survivor – but will I ever be the me I adored, the me that felt so comfortable in her own skin, the me that was never afraid to speak up for herself or anyone that needed someone to stand by them, the me that was so independent, the me that could see anything through to the end - be it work project, social function - without tiring out?
Now that you know a little more about how I got here, I hope you visit each Monday for "Picking up the pieces" posts. I will do my best to share the past 3 ½ years and what has helped to keep me alive and moving forward. I hope to inspire you to stay positive and together we will get there. I encourage you to share your thoughts and what has worked for you - your comments may also help to inspire others.
images: google search - Jupiterimages and Shutterstock - wording added to gift boxes me.