A Miracle or a Curse ?

So here I am at 4:30 am. ..having not slept yet despite being so physically exhausted , my mind just won't stop thinking. I came to the topic of my accidents in my mind and I'm not sure how I feel about them. To explain briefly ... I had a car accident when I was 12, the left side of my skull was shattered and replaced with metal plates, during surgery my heart stopped 3 times due to having seizures during the operation. From the ages of 12 and 16 I was a horrible spiteful person , I ruined my education , friendships, relationships with family as melodramatic as it sounds for the age I was , I ruined my entire life. When I was 16 I was in another car accident , fortunately nowhere near as bad as the first , another knock to the brain but the surgery went as smooth as it could and I ended up with an extra few quite large scars on my face and back. Since that accident ...I guess you could say I'm a nicer person ? I tried to rebuild connections but now I live in a constant state of anxiety, depression, insecurity, hidden anger which often rears it's ugly head and loneliness , paired with regrets of every single decision I have made since that first accident. Why ? Was this always my path ? Or was I saved when I shouldn't have been twice? Because thishe honestly feels like punishment. I am not a religious person nor particularly spiritual but I just don't feel right like I no belong here. Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying , this isn't meant to be a notion of suicide or ungreatfullness ... I'm just really lost. So I just wondered if anyone has felt at all similar ? Through any similar experiences at all ...

I'm sorry this post is rather doom and gloom ... I just hoped someone would understand on here.

13 Replies

Hi. Is there really two 4:30s in a day? I get up at 4 to dog walk before work so I feel that lonely hour too! You aren't alone although my experience is from a different viewpoint. My husband was knocked off his cycle by a car last year, suffering a TBI and physical injuries. I am trying to cope with the affects whilst running our home, working part time and resolving financial stuff, as well as being there for him. I too feel lonely and lost. I want my husband back . But there are things I must eventually accept and things I can change. Work on where you want to be , but don't set unrealistic goals. Small steps make up the bigger picture. I just want you to know you're not alone. Keep on keeping on x


Hi rikic

Oh boy I can't imagine what it was like for you having to go through your teens with a brain injury.

Did you get any help at all? It's never too late. Headway have some great leaflets/workbooks.

Counselling could really help with what seems a bit like survivors guit and adapting to the new you.

Is it general anxiety or more about mixing with people? Ask your GP for a referral to a neurologist or neuro psychologist for the former and you could try one of the walking for health groups if its social.

You are not alone. A number of people in the forum have lost key relationshis.

We all have one thing in common regardless of the type of injury and that is.............we are survivors.

I'm sure that you will get over this bump.




Hi Rikic,

I fully understand the way you feel. It can be so difficult getting through the day can't it.

I have occasions when I wonder, and I've even voiced this that my husband wanted me back no matter how damaged I may have been, he just prayed for me back. And here I am it's been a difficult journey, I'm glad I am here, but each day is a reminder of how my life used to be!

It could be so much worse, and my husband is lucky, I can care for myself independently, I struggle with housework, but I never liked it anyway, I can't work, I'm 63 now anyway so that's no problem.

But some of my hobbies are difficult for me to do because of fine motor skills issues. But we are both lucky that I have no personality changes and also my intellect is still intact, but miracle! In some ways and curse in others.

It was selfish of him to want me back regardless, but I have grown as a person, I understand and can empathise with others so much more.

We have to play the hand we are dealt in life, I am not a religious person either, but I am a believer in fate. We can also make our paths through life more easy or difficult by decisions we make.

Please don't make yours more difficult with bitterness and what ifs, get up there and grab life by the horns, you only come this way once, make the most of it.

My GP said to me, "Janet, you've been given a second chance, not many people can say that so go out there and take it!"

So that's what I'm trying to do, not easy at times, but could be a whole lot worse, plus I owe it to my husband and his faith in me.

Love Janet x


Sometimes some of the depression and sleeplessness that comes after head injury can have a physical cause. Have you had yourself checked out for pituitary damage, which is a frequent consequence of brain injury, especially when it's severe? Your pituitary gland can be damaged, which can affect all kinds of things - sex drive, fertility, your ability to think clearly, your weight, your energy levels, your mood (not all these things at once, necessarily, it depends on the kind of damage). People can often feel better with hormone replacement therapy - especially growth hormone and sex hormones. I've been campaigning about this for several years so I know people who have been helped in this way. Look it up or if you can't face the effort, ask someone who loves you - see headinjuryhypo.org.uk or dailym.ai/1TypY9u

By the way, some lovely replies to your post! I hope they made you feel better.



My heart just goes out to you. As a parent I just can't imagine how your life must have been back then, to have had to suffer brain injury at such a young age (Twice!!!!) . What you describe about the behaviours you regret would have happened because you were a very confused and traumatised, brain injured child. How can a little child cope with such trauma? And then to suffer major injury again in your teenage years.....what a nightmare for you. It's been hard enough for me as an adult to try and comprehend my accident and the surprising effects of brain injury........I wonder how children cope. You're bound to look back as an adult on unresolved problems - that's very normal. A couple of things to remember........you're never alone at 4.am :) . Each day is a new start. Since my brain injury I am certainly not the person I was last year, so im trying to find a new way of 'being', and leaving the past behind. Personality changes (if you read the info on the Headway site) are common following brain injury - so again you're one of the crowd......even if you're feeling understandably isolated. I wish you all the very best with the future.....and hope you try and find some good support.......ring the Headway helpline. Bless you and here's a big hug :)


Hi Rikic, I agree with headinjuryhypo! I've been researching a lot of My health history recently. So have found a lot of info, relative e to my other health problems as well. Identifying and treating one condition separately from another, rather than following through the pathways and ages of them, without making a connection doesn't make sense! Where there is an action - there is always a reaction - I remember hearing that phrase in a chemistry lesson in school! it can also be applied to many different life and health situations.

The main one being to do with the Adrenal Axis........I have copied and pasted below info from Wikipedia :- info you can print off and take to your doctor.

.. "Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis

Basic HPA axis summary (corticotropin-releasing hormone=CRH, adrenocorticotropic hormone=ACTH).

Hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal cortex.

The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis or HTPA axis), also known as the limbic–hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (LHPA axis) and, occasionally, as the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal–gonadotropic axis, is a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions among three endocrine glands: the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland (a pea-shaped structure located below the hypothalamus), and the adrenal (also called "suprarenal") glands (small, conical organs on top of the kidneys).

The interactions among these organs constitute the HPA axis, a major part of the neuroendocrine system that controls reactions to stress and regulates many body processes, including digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality, and energy storage and expenditure. It is the common mechanism for interactions among glands, hormones, and parts of the midbrain that mediate the general adaptation syndrome (GAS).[1] While steroid hormones are produced mainly in vertebrates, the physiological role of the HPA axis and corticosteroids in stress response is so fundamental that analogous systems can be found in invertebrates and monocellular organisms as well....."

Anatomical connections between brain areas such as the amygdala, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and hypothalamus facilitate activation of the HPA axis. Sensory information arriving at the lateral aspect of the amygdala is processed and conveyed to the central nucleus, which projects to several parts of the brain involved in responses to fear. At the hypothalamus, fear-signaling impulses activate both the sympathetic nervous system and the modulating systems of the HPA axis.

The HPA axis is involved in the neurobiology of mood disorders and functional illnesses, including anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, insomnia, posttraumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, ADHD, major depressive disorder, burnout, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and alcoholism.[6] Antidepressants, which are routinely prescribed for many of these illnesses, serve to regulate HPA axis function.[7]


Your skull was smashed up when you were 12 - a lot of skull possibly also brain surgery involved, all very close to the Adrenal axis - who knows what damage occurred there. Certainly neural transmitter and receptor damage, areas that control you!

But if your adrenal glands were also affected that affects health both neural and physical!

I suggest you ask your doctor for A Thyroid Function Test, TSH, including Free T 3& Free T4, Vitamin B12, Folate, Ferritin and Cortisol! You can look up what these tests are on www.labtestsonline or just putem on Wikipedia, where there also links to further information on "good professional, websites" that have HonCode or Trusted Accreditation. Ask for printed copies of any tests her wil agree to doing for you.

If your doctor will agree to all the above tests, before you have them, read up about the Thyroid to understanding the preparation requirements by you (I.e. Fasting before

The blood test.)

As I said, we can't look at our health in isolation, just reacting to and treating every different symptom only on its own merits without connecting them!

PS and finally, sorry to sound just so matter of fact - I really feel for you and everything you have been through in your young life already, but I do hope that some, if not all, of the above will help you find your pathway to a healthier and happier life! Shirley - virtual hug to you O xx.


I fully understand how you are feeling-life is a strange thing sometimes, throwing all sorts of impossible challenges in our way. You have every right to feel as you do, but remember to be 'kind' to yourself - you have had more than share of challenges, so you should be proud of how you have coped with such rotten times and at such a young age!

I won't repeat what others say about the different types of support and/or treatment, but just remember we are all here and rooting for you and understand how you are feeling.

Take care x



I can't believe what you've been through and are still here to talk about it. One injury was enough for me (at roughly the same age as your first) - I became nicer post injury than I'm told I was pre-TBI though!

But like Annie said, remember to be kind to yourself. The effects of head injuries are well-documented, including changing our personalities, and having a serious impact on executive function. I don't think you need to berate yourself for the effects of your injury, any more than I do that I hated (and I mean utterly LOATHED) my physiotherapist in hospital, or that I once told a woman her dress was horrible. I was basically in a daze for four to five years after my injury so nothing I did then is subject to the same standard of behaviour I expect of myself now (which is still unrealistic).

Personally I have found solace in religion but we have to do what's right for us individually, and find our own path - and as Morpheus says, there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. Translating knowing the path into walking the path is very difficult for me personally, and I imagine it's difficult for a lot of people with head injuries. Solace in religion doesn't take away the regret and the wishing that the effects of the head injury I can easily identify, like not being able to multi-task, a shortened temper, and a reduced ability to plan and execute tasks, weren't there.

I'm very lucky in that I'm out the other side of a lot of the gloom - for instance, for years I didn't understand why other people could easily make friends but I find it excruciatingly difficult and then 13 years ago I found a Headway leaflet and it was like a light bulb switching on. It didn't magically make me feel less isolated but it made me feel better about why I had the difficulty. I'm now 24 and a bit years post injury and it's still hard sometimes - not a single day passes that I'm not reminded that I'm different from most other people. School was hard because I was bullied, but that's over with now, and I interact with adults rather than cruel school kids.

I don't know what age you are, or therefore how long past your most recent injury you are, but I know what it is to feel like you don't belong here - a lot of days I feel disconnected from reality (hence the name I chose for myself), but I recognise that even now I'm still improving my concentration, being able to join some of the dots between events, etc.

I'm not trying to give you any advice here so I'm sorry if it comes off that way. As has been mentioned, just know that you aren't alone. If you WANT advice, all you have to do here is ask though.

I hope you're in a better place soon!


Hey all , thank you so much for all of your responses and I'm sorry for not getting back to you all sooner, I've been in a weird place still so I just blocked out the world for a bit. I had therapy for years after both the accidents , the therapy taught me how to survive and I'm feeling like I need to actually start living !! Which is much easier said than done, but I'm gonna start working on it. There's an incredibly messy break up in the mix aswell so I imagine thats been amplifying my already existing issues, but that's for another forum I guess haha.

Thanks again everyone , it's funny how a few words from people who have been there can make you feel less alone isn't it ?

Take care x


I agree totally with your last sentence Rikic, and I hope you continue to use this and whatever other forums you want for the support that will undoubtedly come in bagful for you. I've been through a messy relationship breakup myself so understand what the traumas and stress of that also does to health both physical and neural!

Keep well and look after yourself. Shirley X X x

1 like

there are two sides to a coin

my side and your side

my side is a blank canvas of past and presant and future

that is only because im here that i can include the future

your post does not say doom and goom

your post say that you aree thnking to much about what has been before

isolation is a bad freind no buddys

i to was part of the /they dont get it ill get rid of them crew/ opps

as for belonging we are here you are here what you do next is for you to deside

head injurys cause a lot of stress

anger+rage+stress+lonliness+fear are all baddys

and all in your past

so what about the future on your side of the coin

ay ideas about that then


Lee, there is a lot of truth in what you say.

The future is every day we get up from our beds, every hour, minute and second to come!

It's what what we choose to do with it at counts.

The past contains lessons and experiences we can learn from,

The present is for planning /using the insight and knowledge gained to ensure that happy and rewarding future!


Hi Riki,

Good days and bad days, we all have them and wow what a horrible start to your life from a young age, my heart truly goes out to you. We all have our own paths and I can really relate to what you are saying about yours. As you are going forwards and progressing keep looking straight ahead as you don't need to look backwards, I find the past I have to learn from and take one day at a time. Remember we are only given what we can handle. God Bless and have a fantastic Sunday evening. Nick


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