Sometimes, I really wonder if I’m getting better or worse when it comes to recovering from my brain injury. It seems more difficult after it’s been a while since it happened for others around me sometimes to accept that I still have difficulty at times with various things associated with my brain injury. I understand that others tend to look at someone and think that if they look okay or are doing well physically, that they are also expected to be better mentally, as well. I also don’t want to attribute all the difficulties I experience to being a result of my brain injury. People who’ve never experienced a brain injury struggle with various things as well sometimes. I need to remind myself of that sometimes. I think that I tend to get overwhelmed more easily than most, especially lately. I just need to focus more on my strategies to reduce the stress and, at times, panic that comes with getting overwhelmed. Reminding myself that “it’ll be okay” and that “I’ll sort it out” does help calm me down sometimes. Other times, just focusing on breathing through the feeling helps more than anything else. At least I’m getting better with accepting things for what they are rather than what they would or could be. Just like most things in life, it isn’t easy and takes a lot of practice to help improve my view of things, but it really makes all the difference.
I had such a wonderful end to a crazy year, and a wonderful start to the New Year. I’m so proud to have gotten through the holidays still clean from anything that is not prescribed to myself. I celebrated 26 months opiate free on December 18th of 2020. I cannot be more grateful for all of the positive support I’ve had throughout this entire process with me. It’s “easy” for me to go back to old ways, but so “worth it” to “push” through any temptation and come out the “other side” so much “stronger” than I was “going into” it. I don’t typically make New Year resolutions, but I do hope to do “better” than the day before and try to “stay in the moment” more. Fingers crossed that I’m able to continue putting necessary effort into continuing the progress I’ve made. Plus, hopefully, I’ll be able to make more positive progress. It was nice being able to use technology to ring the new year in with family, even though, we weren’t together physically. I also wish everyone the absolute best in this upcoming year.
This year’s been a crazy mess, but I was lucky enough to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year with my oldest daughter. She came over early afternoon on Christmas Eve. My boyfriend’s friend who grew up with him and lives in Boston now stopped by to visit a short while, which was pretty nice. My best friend stopped by on Christmas Eve for a bit, as well. We all had such a great time laughing together and being silly the whole time. It was better than I could’ve hoped. Plus, my daughter slept over on Christmas Eve. So, she was here with me for the first time in a long while on Christmas morning. My friend surprised me with my little brother’s 8th grade yearbook that she’d found at her mom’s house. It brought back so many memories from when we were all younger. I miss him like crazy still and always will, I’m sure, but it’s starting to get easier to focus on all the good times we shared. I was so surprised at just how well everything seemed to go the whole holiday. My daughter also adored the gift I was able to get her this year, which was such a great treat as a mom. I hope you enjoyed your Holiday as well.
I haven’t done well when dealing with the Holiday Season for far too long. This year, I have been attempting to get back into the Christmas Spirit. Believe it or not, Christmas was, once, my absolute favorite time of year. Luckily for me, I was able to finally figure out a small gift that my oldest daughter will, hopefully, appreciate and enjoy. I have always felt strongly about how gifts are not what’s important this time of year. Appreciating family, friends, as well as being grateful for all you do have is what I believe it’s “all about”. I was fortunate to be much “better off” when my children were younger and able to get them all the presents they wanted. I am only going to see my oldest daughter this year, but, fortunately, she’s aware of how tight money is these days for bills, let alone for “extras”. Plus, I’m pretty sure I was Blessed with a decent human being who understands what’s really important this time of year. Unfortunately, that always seems to be such a great concern no matter if you “have it” or not about gift giving. It’s been so long since I’ve had that wonderful feeling of being able to pick something out that you think the person will really enjoy. It’s the feeling of excitement of anticipation of seeing their face when they receive the gift. That’s the feeling I’d get when the kids were younger and what I have missed so much all these recent years about this time of year. It feels so great to be this excited about Christmas again. I’m nowhere near where I want to be with everything, but it’s an excellent start, I think.
This Thanksgiving, I was able to enjoy my oldest daughter’s company, along with my boyfriend. I was able to get a turkey the morning before Thanksgiving Day, thankfully. I was unsure if I’d be able to prepare a turkey dinner this year. It was so nice how it ended up working out. It was so comfortable, I actually ended up staying in my pajamas all day. I had started the turkey nice and early that morning and cooked the sides throughout the day. It was so nice to see that we were all enjoying ourselves so much. We watched movies, listened to music, and talked throughout the day and evening. It’s been a long while since I was able to prepare a holiday meal and enjoy it with family. Even though it was just a few of us, it was really nice. I loved seeing my daughter devour most of the Pumpkin pie for dessert after eating a good dinner. There are so many things I’m grateful for that there are too many to list. I just wanted to make sure I noted how great my holiday was.
A friend of mine called to come by and pick up my spare key for my daughter’s apartment. She needed to make a copy after losing her key. I went out front to meet him and give him the key, but, to my surprise, I saw my daughter walking up. I think I almost lost my breath and hugged her so tight that she probably lost hers. I was so happy you see her again! It’s been far too long. He actually left her with me and went to make the spare and picked her back up after. So, we were able to spend a couple hours together. She had me put Snapchat on my phone and took some silly pictures and videos together. It felt so good to laugh and play around with her. I needed that so badly. I even broke down and wrote about how badly I’ve been missing her. That is so rare! She still is without a phone, but promised to do her best to let me know she’s ok whenever she gets a chance. I also wanted to say how proud I was of how respectful she was with not having any paraphernalia or anything while she was there. Also, how proud I am of her choice to start on Suboxone. It was an absolute gift seeing her and being able to spend some time together, for sure. I just couldn’t contain myself and had to share with you.
One thing I very rarely say much about is my oldest daughter who is still in her active addiction, unfortunately. With everything going on recently, she lost her phone and I’ve depended on others seeing her while they’re out to know whether or not she’s okay. I absolutely struggle heavy with this entire subject. I just don’t feel as though I should share her business. But, this is basically, how I’m dealing with her, rather than what she’s doing. She was very close to getting treatment when I last spoke to her, which is a great thing. Although, I’m not sure if that is still currently her plan. I know where she’s at and it hurts terribly to not be able to do it all for her. I’m grateful, that she’s in her own apartment and no longer on the streets. For anyone who doesn’t know, we were homeless and in our active addiction together for a time. She’s had her apartment a year now, and I’ve had mine almost 2 years. I’ve been staying away physically due to her still being in active addiction, as well as the fact that her using is a huge trigger for me. I’m feeling a lot of guilt for not being there with her throughout everything in person, but I keep telling myself that I can’t be there for her if I’m using again. I just keep hoping and praying. I don’t really know how to TRULY HELP her. I do not want to help her keep hurting herself. I feel I’ve done that enough, no matter how unintentional it may have been. I just wanted to share a little about how I am not really sure HOW to deal with it or who I should speak to about it. Thanks for letting me share a bit about that. I did just hear that she’s okay yesterday, although I’m used to messaging her every day just about. We are just very close and it’s just been difficult, but ya gotta start somewhere, right? Baby steps are still going in the right direction. At least this is a start with talking about it.
I think everyone attempts to act as if they got everything so figured out all of the time, especially in front of others. I recall teasing in the hospital after my accident (as I wheeled around in my wheelchair at the time)… I’d say that I was gonna “Make this shit look good” when speaking of my recovery from both the accident as well as from opiate addiction. It helped give me confidence that I needed to help push through all I had to accomplish ahead of me. I still say that quite often, actually. But, even though I am one of the people who tries to appear as though they have it all together, I still face a lot of challenges every single day. Now, those challenges vary, of course. But, just as everything else in life you need to adjust. I, for example, just yesterday actually got teary eyed and almost cried just over feeling overwhelmed by everything. I am usually pretty good at staying “in the moment” as to avoid pondering too often about the past and the future. Although, occasionally that does happen. I just try my best to remember that it’s okay to not have it all figured out and in order. When I live “in the moment” I enjoy life so much more and get so much more of of it. Regardless of what difficulty I may encounter, though I’m determined to “Make this shit look good”😏
I finally began my therapy through the Head Injury Program. I was able to help set up my appointments with them for next week, which was nice. It feels good to have a schedule again. With all of the covid-19 changes, it’s been difficult to keep any type of schedule. It gives me something to occupy my time, as well as give a little structure back into my life. I was also able to vary my types of appointments with all three people that I see. I’ll go to their office one day, do a video session on another day, and one is even coming out to my house for an appointment one day. I think that’s going to help ease a bit of anxiety I experience about becoming more ‘active’ again. I’ve also been working on meditating at least once per day again, which has helped ‘center’ me a bit lately. I’m say glad that it started doing that in my therapies last year. It’s helped so much since then. I’m happy to say that I am still opiate free and doing well in that area thus far. I’d also like to thank everyone who’s been supportive throughout this process. I’m feeling pretty positive about how everything is seeming to work out. I am enjoying how I’m able to go back and rewatch my yoga classes and meditations through the yoga class I’ve been taking. This is the first time I’m doing it this way with emailed videos and guide meditations, but I’m liking it quite a bit. Well, wish me luck and I hope you all have a great day. Thanks again.
I’m so happy to tell you that I have hit another wonderful milestone in recovery. On October 18th, it was 2 years since I’d gotten hit by that car as a pedestrian, as well as, 2 years since I’ve used opiates. I’m so blessed to have had such a wonderful support system throughout this entire process. Even with all of the changes made due to covid-19, I’ve been able to stay connected to so many supportive people. That support, along with all the changes I’ve made concerning certain “habits”, such as with who and where I associate, have made ALL the difference in my recovery. I also have gotten accepted into Pennsylvania’s Head Injury Program, which will assist me through my recovery from the accident and from active drug use. I will have access to a case manager, counselor, as well as cognitive behavioral health therapist. I believe that will help quite a bit. I’ve also started the yoga classes I was taking before the covid-19 changes, but from home. Those classes are especially for people who’ve experienced a Brain Injury, as well as their caretakers. I’ve always gotten so much out of the classes. I’m also happy to say that I was also able to obtain my medical marijuana card, which makes many of my “issues” from the accident, as well as other medical “issues” that I have, as well, much easier to deal with, thankfully. So, there have been a profound number of changes throughout this process, although I’m continuing to progress positively. I even, recently, was able to discontinue the vivitrol injection. Luckily, my doctor’s and I sat down and created an “emergency” plan, in case I feel the need to use opiates again. Having that plan in place makes me feel so much more comfortable about the choice I’ve made. As long as I continue making positive progress, no matter how slow it may be, I feel proud of all I’ve accomplished (with the help of my support system, of course). Please wish me luck on this continued journey and thank you so much for taking a glimpse into my crazy world.
This is me now 💜