This different world

Hi all, it's certainly been a while!

I've been thinking more into the future these days. Ever since the stroke I've just been in "just focus on the next second" mode of living. But now as I go into work and start thinking about what's to come it's really started to make me struggle.

I've made such desperate attempts to feel how I used to; I've gone to old places, looked over old conversations, seen people I haven't seen in years, read old essays, read old books, watched old tv shows, listened to songs over and over again I used to listen to in the hopes that everything in my brain would just turn on again. But it just isn't happening.

So now I like to think of it (as morbid as it sounds) that I died that day. I had a good 20 years there, but it's too painful to try and carry that life on. Whatever this life is now I consider to be like a bonus level. It's really taken the sting out of it all and the pressure of trying to revert to before.

Dumping my thoughts here as per usual!

13 Replies

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  • Hiya

    Yes, I think we all do that. I tried so desperately to be the me I had been, the same daughter, sister, friend etc etc but it is simply not possible sometimes and, like you, I feel as if I died and started again so life is divided into pre and post brain injury. It is so exhausting, getting over a brain injury, you have to just focus on yourself and getting better and if people don't like you or tell you you are weird/ different/boring because you are always tired- well, tough. Everything has changed for me, old friends, marriage - all gone but I have made friends with this new me, who has a different (and better :) taste in music. Letting go of the past is hard, you will grieve and maybe feel resentful but then you will accept it and then, finally, just feel lucky- we made it, we are the survivors. Good luck to you

  • Dump away ; it's just great to see you again Ben.

    You succumbed to looking backwards, as we all do occasionally, and had the courage to see it for what it was.............that other life. That comment about having died is so true, and how many people get the chance of a second attempt !

    You've had no choice but to 'suck it up' since your BI and then gone on to achieve so much ; I've nothing but admiration for you !!

    An update on what you've been up to recently would be good ? xx

  • Hi Cat (sorry for the delay)

    I've been working some money together and trying to move up in my job (I'm looking to make a move to London). Also trying to manage the fatigue at work so I don't just collapse on my bed and do nothing when i get home.

    Other than that I've been hopping all over the place trying to catch up with friends :) how about yourself?

  • Same old - same old here, But life's generally ok and I'm managing to venture further & further afield (still won't fly though).

    Still have various issues (v.frustrated still with word-recall) but so much more manageable than the 'early days'.

    I'm SO pleased you've come back with an update Ben 'cause it's a real joy seeing how you've persevered through tough times to take on such a worthy career.

    And I don't believe it's morbid to accept that the 'old' you has died ; looking back and trying to re-inhabit that life is a lost cause and you've learned it first hand.

    Keep doing what you're doing Ben ; you're a brave & inspirational individual.

    Hope you've found a soulmate BTW !

    Love & all best wishes ; keep coming back .................Cat xx

  • What you are saying makes total sense. I have also been trying so hard to get the old me back and it's just been to hard so now I look at it as I've been given a new chance in life and I just need to grab it with open arms and do things that I enjoy. I spoke to my mum who said she went through a difficult time when my father passed away and the pain of losing someone close was so sever. I then also said that I also am grieving for the old me.

  • I am still stuck trying to find the old me and not liking who I am now. Don't seem to be able to move on and accept this different me! Everyday I see reminders of my previous life and in comparision this one is no where near as good. I frequently find myself wishing that as was expected that I had not survived my coma.

  • hello there my old mate Strawberry, jules here

    Just wanted to say ditto

    Jules

    x

  • Hi Ben,

    So good to see you back, everything you've said, and all the replies you've had so far, are so true.

    My GP said to me in the very early days, that I'd been given a second chance and very few people are so to go out and live that second life, however it presented itself, to the full.

    So I've tried so hard to do that, it's not easy turning your back on what you once had and the older you are you know that the time left is somewhat limited. I still have yearnings for the old me, but I like to think I now get the best out of each and every day, and when I have a bad day I ride it out and hope that tomorrow will be enter.

    So, you get out there Ben, your experiences have taught you so much, you are a much wiser person than all your peers.

    Love Janet x

  • Good to hear from you Janet!

  • Reading your comments has made me realise that I have never had this issue about 'me' disappearing. I would simply offer my perspective to the debate here. I have always been 'me' - but that 'me' has been on a tough path, had ups and downs but I have always been acutely aware that my brain has done an amazing job in coping with the damage and difficulties. Basically I feel incredibly grateful to my brain (which actually runs the whole show!) from the amazing recall for exams (that got me top grades on very little revision when I was young) to its juggling and compromising in the last decade.

    Since my TBI I (my conscious brain) have become the servant to the mighty 'sub-conscious' brain! I am obedient - sleep when told to, drink water etc and it calls the shots! But when things are chugging along OK I do get to enjoy life! I can do Fiendish Sudoku, Codewords, crosswords and watch films (I don't remember seeing them before so can always re-watch with my young people when they want someone with whom to watch again!)

    If I can't recall something I just move on - it may come back (be there) or it may not but so what? My children have grown up with me like this and it doesn't phase them. My family dumped me - but my in-laws are lovely. I had a diverse sometimes exciting work life for 17 years but now am in bed on oxygen with my laptop, a cat and three dogs.

    History shows us that things happen and I have no right to be immune. My grandmother was married at 18, had my Mum at 19 and was widowed at 20 when her soldier husband was killed at Dunkirk. Whenever I ask 'Why me?' I reply 'Why not me?' and that's that. Most of all I am aware that I have two wonderful children - a friend lost a daughter in a car crash caused by a drunk driver a few years ago and that keeps my feet firmly on the ground (but so do the antics of my little terrier!).

    When I want out - and I regularly do - I will simply use pure Nitrogen but I am not there yet.

  • Hello BSA Ben, Jules here

    Nice to see you have posted - havent seen you for a long while

    Jules

    x

  • Hi Ben,

    Good to see a post from you....I often wonder how you are. Are there any updates on how your AVM ???

    Have you settled into your new job ok and are you liking it???

    I think I told you earlier this year my AVM was finally obliterated (after 8 years)

    This last week I have had my final visit from Neuro physocholgist. (8 years of talking) She agreed along with my hubby and myself that "her work is done" This is my life now and my way forward. I must use the knowledge given and stratergies learnt and enjoy life

    I have cried, screamed and put so much pressure and heartache on myself and loved ones trying to get back to the "old Joanne" pre B.I. It ain't going to happen though!!! Ben it's taken me all this time to get here. Here being this is my life except, enjoy and move on. I can truly say for me exceptence has been crucial. My life pre B.I. was so very different. But I'm going to make it fabulous now, for my husband, family (those still around) and friends (again those still around) they deserve it.....Big Style👍

    Ben.....You learn so much after a brain injury and I often wonder could I have done it at 20 like you...I don't think so, I really mean "I DON'T THINK SO"

    I send you respect for what you have achieved so far and good luck/wishes with this new stage of your life and for what I'm sure you will go on to succeed and achieve

    There are many of us who just read, some of us read and advice, but we are always around if you need us Ben

    Keep us updated Ben

    Joanne 😃

  • Heeeeey, it's nice to have a nice pillar of support here to come back to when I need it.

    AVM hasn't gone yet, and I'm seeing my surgeon in March for an update on how it is/how we should proceed. Work's great although I struggle with the fatigue still! How have you been??

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