"I wouldn't want to go back to the way I was. No matter what. Not the I'd want to repeat the experience..." Judy and I were discussing the notion of my brain injury being a blessing in disguise. Too much of a cliché, using that phrase makes me feel uncomfortable, and whenever I use it, I hasten to add, "a hell of a disguise."
She asked, "Wouldn't you like it better if you could be who you are now without the headaches?"
My immediate answer was in the affirmative. But something about my response didn't feel right. I let that feeling percolate for a while.
I was rinsing off in the shower, luxuriating, my scalp absorbing the brunt of the hot water, the harshness of the assault dissipating as it streamed farther down my body. My eyes startled open at the sudden realization-it didn't make sense to separate the bloody brain from my self.
The bloody brain is such an integral part of this new me, this new person I have become since the injury. I cannot possibly divorce the two. I wouldn't want to divorce the two. I like the person I am now much more than who I used to be.
I am a more authentic person, a more fully realized human being. I am so much more aware and self aware. My life, though harder now, is a lot fuller.
Without the bloody brain, I would not be me. If all the difficulties I now experience were to fade away, the headaches, the overloads, the fatigue, the cognitive issues, perhaps the improvements I see in myself now would also fade.
My brain injury, my ongoing struggles, have influenced and continue to influence my making as a person.
We cannot separate ourselves from our journeys, past and present.