Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Who Am I?

I emerged from the chaos into a nightmare.
My body was not my own, neither was my mind. I didn’t fit inside myself. Nothing worked like it was supposed to. Nothing felt right. I didn’t belong, anywhere. I found myself stranded in the middle of nowhere, without a landmark in sight.
Baffled by my surroundings, I embarked on a journey through an alien world, my path strewn with obstacles. Incomplete memories of my past my only guide, memories that held little standing in this strange land.
At first, pain and confusion ruled my halting progress on my road to recovery from brain surgery. I was in survival mode, totally self-absorbed, only able to focus on one step at a time.
I started writing about my my journey within days of my return home from hospital. And as I wrote and healed, my awareness and self-awareness increased, and my journey became one of discovery and rediscovery, a journey of growth.
Along the way, I realized that the bleeds and subsequent surgeries brought about a rude awakening—they shocked me out of a long-standing state of stagnation. I remember a journey of growth that began when I was a teenager. But at some point on that path, my growth was arrested. I stopped searching for answers. I forgot how to ask questions.
Now, in the wake of my brain injury, its after-effects forever a part of me and my life, I am no longer capable of becoming stuck as I had been for so many years–too much has change and continues to change. I will continue to grow and learn. And the more I learn about myself, the more I need to understand my evolution, to know this new person unfolding.
Now my journey of growth continues, though the way has evolved and continues to evolve. Now, I have an advantage over the person I was as a teenager–past experiences help me avoid pitfalls that tripped me up when I was younger. Also, I am more aware of the journey itself, the actual process of learning who I am.