Over the past nine years, I have become acutely aware of exactly how fragile I am both physically and mentally. In 2008, chemotherapy and radiation beat me up physically but just as I was beginning to sort of feel like myself once again, a subarachnoid hemorrhage due to a ruptured brain aneurysm changed my life forever. It could have been worse. I could have died that night or I could have been left completely helpless. Obviously neither happened and I am very thankful for that. I have been left with some challenges however. I am easily overwhelmed and am much more prone to sensory overload. This means I have to take "breaks" in order to regroup and move on. It is much harder for me to concentrate and remember things. Yes, everyone forgets things but this is a different sort of forgetfulness. The memory was never tucked away in your brain in the first place and it is like it never happened.
Truthfully I really do hate it when people laugh and say, "Oh! I forget stuff too!" I do too and I know when it is "normal" forgetfulness, age-related forgetfulness and brain-injury forgetfulness. Trust me, there is a distinct difference! Please don't tell people with a brain-injury that you forget too. It is not the same and it does not make them feel better. It trivializes what they are struggling with every day.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
This proverbial phrase is often quoted when life is "'sour" and urges you to make the best of your situation. I agree but sometimes those lemons are rotten and you need throw them away if possible. There are some lemons you can't throw away...
When people hear my story in person they always, without exception, get a rather astonished look on their face. That's because I walk with a big God who constantly helps me do what I need to do. In the beginning, I really struggled with panic attacks trying to remember where I was or what I was doing. It just wasn't there and those episodes were very frightening, particularly if I was alone at the moment.
I found myself crying out to God in my time of trouble and He reminded me that I was not alone and I was safe. He would take care of me. I have learned that when those episodes take place, I must immediately turn to my Heavenly Father who "takes my hand", calms me down and helps me. I am so thankful that I can cry out to the Lord in my distress and He hears me. I am so thankful that though I am weak, He is strong. I am so thankful that He will never leave nor forsake me. He is always right by my side...and He always will be.
The challenges you face every day may be different than mine but God is the same. Regardless of what you face you can do all things through Christ.
I think perhaps one of the reasons I joined CB last week was that there are things going on in my life right now that require courage and it's nice to feel I'm in the company of courageous people like you.