Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Acceptance? Acceptance.

During my early days into recovery from the brain surgeries, the daily battle to survive was tangible, but I persevered. As I progressed, every struggle validated my aversion to the term acceptance. Every time the word came up, my hackles rose. I associated it with malingering and I was no malingerer.
I mentioned my attitude towards the term to my neuropsychologist. He leaned back in his chair. “I interpret the term acceptance the Buddhist way—learning to live with it.”
I could live with that interpretation. I could learn to live with the bloody brain.
He added, “It’s the feisty ones who do best.”
Yes, that would be my way. I was a fighter.

Journeys and Destinations

On the phone to my friend, Cindy, voice quivering, occasionally leaking tears, at one point sobbing, I hoped for some answers. What was going on? Why was I so upset? When I noticed that over the last couple of weeks I occasionally became weepy for no apparent reason, I thought that hormones, or exhaustion induced … Read more

And Then Some

Imagine a physically frail person who has accepted their frailty. What would you see in your mind’s eye? I picture a pale wrinkled old lady, lying in bed, bottles and bottles of pills on her nightstand beside her. I hear her quavering voice asking for help, as she weakly raises her arm to catch my … Read more

Looking Back

Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance I stuck my head in the sand after the first acute brain bleeds. It took me two months to raise my head and actively learn about my condition and search for a way to reclaim my life. I don’t remember anger. Nor do I remember bargaining. But I do remember … Read more


“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, … Read more