Getting back to where you were

By Wednesday, September 24, 2014 0 No tags Permalink

Huh? That seems counterproductive.

I’ve always understood life and time as concepts that move forward, but commonly, after a very difficult injury that changes the way one sees and interacts with the world and society, people say that instead of moving forward, one should ‘get back to the way you were’. Granted, I thought this way for a long time after my brain injury and probably didn’t change my thinking until recently. There’s a Tylenol commercial (that I haven’t found online) that shows a women watching a school play and grabbing at her temples, then a man trying to move a couch up stairs and grabbing at his back, the voice over says, ‘This isn’t Sarah, because Sarah always cheers the loudest, and this isn’t Bill, because Bill always gets the job done’ – the names are wrong and the quote probably isn’t exactly right, but it’s close enough. My question has always been; then who are those people? Why do you spend an entire commercial showing people, then tell us who they aren’t. I can do that myself thanks. What the ad is saying is that they’re not themselves because they have aches and pains. What I want to say is “Yes they are!”

How arrogant do you have to be to think that you’re always at your best physically? I’ve never met anyone, even the most confident of people, who think they’re always 100%. That’s life. You’re not always going to be in your best condition, especially after an injury or illness.

By definition, if you’re always at your best, then it’s not your ‘best’, it’s just your normal. But I digress.

After my brain injury, and for a long time, I was trying to get back to how I was. ‘How I was’, was 23 and in the best shape of my life. When looking back at it, it seems arrogant that I should strive to be how I was. As though that was the pinnacle of what I would ever want to be.

Time and life have a tendency to move forward, so spending all of my energy trying to get back to how I was, was not only exhausting, it was pointless and aggravating. Why, during such a difficult time in my life, would I want to reverse course and start trying to go the other way? When I got depressed was when I would think about how far I was from where I had been physically. ‘Had been’. It’s not 2003 anymore. It’s not a matter of being happy where you are or accepting, it’s a matter of moving forward with your life, not a fantasy life that you thought should be yours. Enjoy this one!


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