Is there a silver lining to traumatic brain injury? Does head trauma come with benefits? I didn’t think so until my youngest shared his wisdom.
I was lamenting the loss of my photogenic memory when my youngest son said, “Mom, you’re lucky. You can choose to remember only the good times and forget the bad times.” Until then I never thought about my annoying memory loss in that way. There was a silver lining in losing my memory.
Once I came clean on the memory loss issue, I slowly regained control of many aspects of my life. I was no longer afraid to socialize in public. My mind was no longer focused on recalling noise or things I wasn’t interested or passionate about. Today, the head trauma comes in handy. It gives me an out when I don’t feel like being bothered. I can just say I forget and most of the times it’s the truth. To think of the suffering I endured in trying to hide the injury. Honesty is best the policy when it comes to your health.
Some people are passionate about recalling names. Unless it’s someone who’ll become part of my life, I quickly forget names. Learning to manage my limited and vanishing memory cells is no small feat. It enabled me to function at a higher level, and I hope that will preserve and protect my memory cells.
I freed my mind to focus on things I love to do, when I accepted the diagnosis of traumatic brain injury. No longer did I sit in a corner worrying about the things I couldn’t remember or the humiliation at losing my train of thought in the middle of making a point, a very important one.
Ironically, all my working life I slaved away to someday enjoy the luxury of a middle-class American family. Today making markedly less, I am finally beginning to live the life of my dreams. Now it could be that I don’t remember the life I dreamed about, but who cares I am at peace.
The past is fuzzy! With triggers and reminders, recalling events from the distant past become easier. The terrible memories of failures and rejections muted, and current shortcomings quickly overlooked. The silver lining is that I forget the impossibility of an outcome and focus on its possibilities, meaning I have a can do attitude until I start to do and fatigue or brain fog sets in.
With fewer connections, less money and less power, I am making the best of the situation. Today, I use a shopping service to get groceries. I get a manicure and pedicure regularly (I am now overdue). I go to Boston to get my hair done at least twice a month. I pamper myself. When I worked full-time, I didn’t have the time to do so. Having to make money prevented me from enjoying it.
Head injury sure knocked some sense into me, isn’t that a silver lining?