After a cold and snowy winter, summer is finally here. Summer is a great time to take off your shoes and kick back, lie on the beach, hang out with friends, or spend an evening on the front porch listening to the baseball game.
In the fall and winter seasons we always seem to be battling something; whether it’s those hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms, or just bone chilling cold, we always seem to be reacting to
something that’s making life challenging. Either that, or we are running around getting prepared for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, or Presidents Day.
Well, I take that last one back. We don’t put too much effort into Presidents’ Day, except if you want to buy a car.
After the strain and the many commitments of winter, summer is the time to get away; mentally and physically. It is a time of bare feet and bathing suits. It is a time for your world to become more laid back and easy going; a time of barbecues and vacation.
I wish summer was more of a vacation for me. For me, summer is simply a time when there are more options and the weather is warmer. I know we’re supposed to be more relaxed and fun, but I never really got that. Although I can do it at times, it’s hard for me to relax and have fun.
There is this tension in my body: brain injury tension.
Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to get wound up, don’t do well in the heat, and don’t sleep well in the summer. I can’t remember being like that before I had my TBI. While my summers used to be carefree, my summers now usually feel a little bit too much like a headlong rush, and I feel like I’m just trying to get by until the days get a little cooler. Then I’ll be less busy. It only feels as though I start to relax towards the end of August when I know the end is near.
The reality is, I’m doing better now, but it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve been able to take more control of my summer and enjoy it more. I still dream of one thing though:
I would love to take a vacation from my traumatic brain injury.
It can be very simple. I don’t have to take a trip and spend a lot of money. I don’t have to rely on anyone else. I don’t even have to go to some great event. I just want to feel free. I want my head clear and my mind straight; no confusion. No frustration. No anger. No thinking about what might have been.
You know when you wake up in the morning and you are stuck in that dreamy state before consciousness sets in? That’s kind of where I want to be: that dreamy netherworld where my TBI doesn’t exist, just before I realize where and who I am, and say, “Oh damn.”
I want to feel at peace. I want to feel calm. I want a rest. I want to be untroubled.
I know…that’s a lot of “I wants,”, but it all comes down to one: I want my traumatic brain injury to be something that never happened, so I can experience a carefree life; see what that life might have been like. I want to not have the TBI cloud hanging over my head, or have the TBI shadow always following me.
But then I start thinking that if I actually went into “remission”, my remission would eventually end, and it would be like having a brain injury all over again. That would really suck.
Also, what if I had a brief vacation from my TBI and I learned that things weren’t be so peachy keen? That could very well be the reality; we always think life would have been better had we not had our TBI, but what if we’re wrong? There is a good chance it would have been better, but we don’t know and we never will. All we really know is that it would have been different.
I’ve got the be careful what I wish for, because I might be disappointed. Life might be just as challenging, and my search for a peaceful moment could turn out to be a nightmare. You know how it is; the grass is always greener on the other side, but once you are actually on the other side, life isn’t always so perfect.
Is the vacation worth the possible costs? Do I want to risk that glimpse into, “What could have been?”
The truth is, since our brain injuries, we haven’t stopped. Although it may seem as though things have ground to a halt for us, we have always been moving and growing, even when we are in pain, or feeling anger or frustration. Not for a second have we stopped. We are each on a quest of self-discovery; of re-discovery, if you will. We desperately want to find out and be, who we are, and that is all consuming work. It’s also the most exhausting work, because a lot of is mental, but, believe it or not, it can be exhilarating.
A little rest though, would be nice.