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Sitting on the Fence of an Acquired Brain Injury

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Today is one of those days where I’m sitting on the fence, looking attentively and carefully over each side while being well aware of what each side entails. It should be simple, right? I should look at the fun side and launch myself forward like I’ve done so many times before? Unfortunately, following “e” aka encephalitis or brain inflammation, even the easy stuff, the stuff that used to be a given, the things that used to happen naturally without thinking too much aren’t so easy anymore.

Following “e” the bright side, the fun side of the fence also translates in additional brain stimulation, additional efforts for my brain to keep up and consequently most likely a crashing session that will leave me with intense fatigue for days. Intense fatigue which is also often followed by a sense of failure.

During the last two years I’ve spent a lot of time trying to erase the word “failure” from my vocabulary. Deep down I know I can’t fail at something I’ve got no control over (in this case my bruised brain), but at the end the day that is still a feeling I’m experiencing and therefore a feeling I need to acknowledge to get past it. But unfortunately, some days it’s not easy to shake off that feeling of failure!

The alternative, let’s call it the quiet side of the fence (it’s a bit kinder than calling it the boring side), means I will most likely not be challenging myself much today. It also means I’ll be staying well into routine to give myself the best chances at managing my day without too much heartache. Most days I’m OK with choosing that side of the fence as I know it’s the most logical decision to take for my personal well-being, but some days I’m bored with the same old, same old. Some days I do long for excitement, for a new challenge, for a little something to spice up my day.

Consequently, here I am, sitting on the fence. So I’m asking you, which side would you choose? Which price are you willing to pay should you choose a side over the other?

Let’s face it, both sides eventually come at an emotional cost. Watching or hearing how much fun people had while you were on the quiet side of the fence can be just as heartbreaking as going through a setback generated by choosing to liven up your day.

A simple decision, yet so hard when you gotta factor in all the weird and wonderful of a new, injured brain. So today is one of those days where I’m sitting on the fence, wondering if I’ll finally come to a decision.

I have developed strategies to cope with either side of the fence, but some days it just sucks to be the wise, reasonable person watching life happen while sitting on top of the fence.

This story originally appeared on Weird Wonderful Brain.

Getty image by June Jacobsen.

Originally published: October 8, 2019
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