My TBI was officially one decade ago. When I think about it like that, a whole decade, it seems like an eternity but 10 years is a long time, even if sometime it may not seem that way. A lot has happened during these last ten years, not just my recovery.
Ten years ago, I thought my life would be completely different than what it looks like today, but I am so proud of everything I have achieved thanks to all the care and help I have received despite of what happened on the night of May 2, 2012. It has been ten long, sometimes difficult and sometimes very happy years, a lot of ups and downs and a lot of changes that made me who I am today, that sometimes I can’t even believe all this time has passed. Sometimes it feels like I was at therapy just a couple of years ago and sometimes it feels like way more than a decade.
When I think about that girl sitting on the wheelchair, wearing that helmet, able to say what she was feeling, I feel proud to have been that strong and will powered, even through the pain, to not give up and become the person I am today. Sometimes I can’t recognize her and don’t know where that strength came from, but when I want to give up I think about her, about that strength I had ten years ago and I still have somewhere inside me and how much stronger I have become after. I might have been ten years younger, but I’m still that same girl, with the same strength, and bravery to keep improving every day.
After the TBI I have been through therapies, countless psychiatrists (they change every two years because they’re students), two Hurricanes, earthquakes, multiple jobs, made new friends, two neurologists, seven seizure free years, many attempts at driving again, and a pandemic, just to name a few things. When I think about this I realize how I have been able to live a full life even after a TBI, even if I had to make a few adjustments to my lifestyle, like not being able to drive and having to be patient trying to learn again. I know I’ll get there if I’m patient and keep trying, just like I’ve gotten everything else I have achieved.
This is only one out of three great decades I have lived. It does not define my life but has made it more interesting and taught me so much about hard work, effort, not taking anything for granted, friendship and love ( it sounds corny but it’s true). If ten years ago me could see me now, she’d be proud and happy to know you can still have a happy life after a TBI.