You didn’t fall apart. Maybe you did. But only temporarily.

BY: FRANCE THERIAULT

FEATURED IMAGE DESCRIPTION:  fungi/mushrooms on a tree on the ground

When a Traumatic or Acquired Brain Injury suddenly knock at your door you are never ever ready for the unfolding multiple challenges that come from these invisible injuries.

You feel broken inside out, you can barely recognize yourself as your brain is in so much turmoil. Your neural pathways seem all tangled up, some of them are not firing up or are simply overstimulated by noise, light, stress and other circumstances you are trying to make sense of.

Your life seems projected  in front of you and you feel like you are a spectator looking at it with complete detachment and disbelief.

In the healing journey, we often feel we have been put to test over and over again. Learning to slow down, learning to ask for help, and most importantly, learning to let go of who we were before the tragedy, are some of the greater challenges we experienced at some point in our recovery process.

The invitations are numerous.

Learning to retrain our brain to accomplish simple tasks such as making breakfast, getting dressed, having a conversation, deciding what to prioritize while dealing with the physical pains of our injury, is an exhausting emotional rollercoaster. Learning to hope you will eventually one day be better and well – and learning how to trust yourself – are one of the most arduous assignments. How can you trust yourself when your brain software is glitching, constantly in panic mode or permanently in indecisiveness?

Learning to be courageous over the unfolding days, months and years after the cycling accident while facing adversity that seemed insurmountable helped me to develop grit, resilience, empathy and compassion. 

Tell me dear ones. What are some of your learnings? 

I am curious to learn more about them.

One of the unexpected gifts I found in this process, despite the ebbs and flows in the journey, was being able to find beauty all around me. Beauty is everywhere, I discovered. In stillness, in contemplation and living at a slower pace I became aware of things I never noticed before. My beauty alertness became amplified. What an amazing gift to possess and share with others, being able to notice the tiniest miracles like nature’s organic masterpiece.

We were put to the test and we didn’t fall apart. We bravely rise slowly collecting the pieces reinventing a new version of ourselves. We became wiser, stronger and kinder.

We most certainly realized the uncertainty of life, the fragility of our existence in this splendid adventure called life.

We understand we have been saved for something better, greater but before arriving there we have many more tests to perform again and again.

We are not broken, definitely not broken dear ones.

One small crack doesn’t mean you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.

Linda Poindexter

Follow France on Instagram at Standingbyyourside65 where she shares stories, insights of living a beautiful life and meaningful life nine years after having a traumatic brain injury from a cycling accident.

➡️ You can also see France’s art as part of BIST’s 2022 Expressive Art Show, HERE.