Back to the Beginning: The Dark Place (posted Apr. 26, 2009)

I appreciate ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy for a lot of reasons. The character development and some of the realness of the characters fascinate me.

There was one episode where either Christina or Meredith asked the other if they were in that dark place. Wow. An acknowledgement of that dark place we all experience. Rather than denying or glossing it over, or telling the other to not feel that way, they handled it together with understanding.

Not surprisingly after a trip to Costco and WalMart yesterday, my attempts at getting and staying out of bed today fell short. I felt glued to the mattress, having no choice but obey my fatigue.

A lot of times I try to push through knowing if I wait to feel better, things may not get done at all! The trip to Costco and WalMart have been on hold for that very reason for a long time, well, and coupons do have expiration dates!

Something most folks outside of Brain Injury don’t know, most of us don’t feel good, ever, in addition to our other struggles and deficits.

Last week I pushed myself hard to get the letters out and try to help myself from losing this home. The end result was accomplished, but the price was extremely costly.

By the end of the week I was highly irritable, apathetic, amazingly pissed off, tired of the struggle, with suicidal thoughts. Life with brain injury is anything but glamorous, but it is real life. I Googled suicide, not like I needed any ideas.

I like myself least when I am out of sorts like this, feeling out of control, the emotional pain suffocates, I want out. The years of struggle and trying to get help, the very denial of this Brain Injury, loss of friends, job, understanding, let alone my own mistrust of myself and loss of knowing myself, are daunting.

I’ve been at this place for several years, not knowing if I’ll get to keep the house or not, and it’s really hard to build a life on uncertainty. Will I get to stay, can I fix things, or start packing? I worked so hard to get better so I could return to work full-time, but that’s not reality.

This is why I fight so hard to have a good life, to manage my pain, and to keep myself from staying in that dark place. There is such a struggle to keep one’s head above financial water, but the fight to keep from losing one’s spirit as well.

It is incredibly disheartening to go for help and be turned away.

It is terribly frightening and depressing to go to Disability, file and be turned down – only to hear from everyone they turn people down three times on average! This is the system I’ve paid into for over twenty years and on the back of their envelope telling me my appeal was denied is printed in caps, “For the times that count – count on Social Security!”

Are you kidding me?!

It is a daily challenge to keep myself above water, financially, spiritually, physically, emotionally. I think I understand why people give up because they’re told in a myriad of ways they’re not worth it…but that isn’t the truth.

Getting help in this world takes a lot of game playing, cheating, changing who I am, or having a story to get a lot of attention so as to change things. I think we who go through the system see it in its lackluster glory and blaring hypocrisy despite the printing on the envelope.

The truth can be tremendously ugly, I’m not playing games here, this is my life.

I am still striving to live well despite everything and to live within my integrity and conscience. I know if I change myself to fit into some bizarre category for gaining disability benefits or help, that the next person following in my footsteps has to do the same. That is wrong.

Disability with dignity is not asking too much, for myself or anyone else.

I accept the dark places in my soul, without denying, glossing over, or berating myself for feeling it. It will be handled, together, with help and honor.

It is part of this path, and it is part of who I am, and it too has value for what it has to teach.

About Resilient Heart

TBI x3, that's me! If you had a Traumatic Brain Injury (or Injuries!) and knew you might not remember dates, events, people, etc., would you live each day differently? Would you give more, forgive more, heal more? I am. The statistics for me developing Dementia or Alzheimer's is a high possibility - one, because of the TBIs, and two - because I'm genetically predisposed. Come with me as this present moment is all we know we have... Wishing you all the best - today & always. Blessings, Love & Peace, RH
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