i don’t normally celebrate birthdays, as to me, every day is a birth day. When you wake up to a new day, it’s a whole set of new experiences, and ruminations on older ones. We are never the same person we were the day before.
That said, today is a day where my life undoubtedly was altered, physically and mentally. Two years ago the body i now live in was born on March 1, but the contractions began on February 12.
i was hit and ragdolled by an 18 wheeler semi truck.
While i immediately accepted that nothing would ever be the same about the way i moved in the world; it may sound strange to say but there was something comforting about those two months and six days in the hospital, plus whatever time i spent in the rehab clinic. While i always welcomed spontaneity in my life, prior to the accident i had particular patterns i followed. A certain predictability was comforting. My life was extremely simple- as simple as one’s life could be. i was wholly independent. i had little attachment to things; i rode my bicycle everywhere, i got what i needed from the store, whenever i needed something.
After the accident i had to depend on others to do things i suppose i took for granted- riding my bicycle to the store, picking up larger, bulkier/heavier packages, reaching items at a particular height… Even multi-tasking has been harder to do. i know it was difficult for me to form a coherent sentence (both in writing and verbally) when i first got to the hospital; given that i was able to easily respond to questions with no memory lapses though, i thought i was generally okay. The concussion i got (resulting in 6 or 7 staples in my head) seems to have latent effects, because these days, my brain gets overloaded in ways i’d never experienced before. i’m distracted at a much easier rate, and sitting and doing particular tasks for long periods of time has not been as easy.
Yes- while i have come to terms with everything that happened (and am still learning to appreciate my body in its new form- not an easy thing to do), one of the things i struggle with the most is the unpredictability of this new life. This new life is a lot lonelier. The connections i once experienced have lessened greatly. i’m not able to travel outside in the ways i once was. i am dependent on others in one way or another, if i want to leave the house and do anything significant… which means that sometimes, things are not going to get done at the time (or in the amount of time) i’d like them done. Sometimes, just getting around is painful. Some days i have happy days, where i can laugh at myself. Other days i ask myself why i even survived. Some days i feel okay with doing nice things for myself after such a traumatic event; other days i feel guilty.
When everything happened i assured myself that i wasn’t experiencing PTSD, despite this ginormous life-altering event that happened to me. i disagreed with everyone who guaranteed that this struggle would be something i’d be battling.
i suppose i had a certain image in my mind as to how living with PTSD from such a major accident would occur; like everything else major in life though, none of this comes with a handbook.
i want to apologize to everyone, and say that i was wrong.
This book will continue to be written…