Living with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is like riding a proverbial roller coaster. There are good and bad days, days full of hope and hopeless ones, days you know your purpose and ones where you can’t find it, victorious days and ones you feel defeated.
When I decided to tell people my own TBI story, I was well aware of these ups and downs, but I still made a vow to myself and to others to be completely honest, transparent, and vulnerable about everything I was going through. I wouldn't just share the highs. I would let people in on the lows as well.
I hoped by telling my story in such an open and honest way others might be encouraged and emboldened to do the same when telling their own personal stories. But I have to apologize to everyone because I haven't been doing what I vowed to do.
You see, over the last couple months, my TBI has taken me down but I wasn't coming back up. And instead of doing what I said I'd do, I chose to keep this all to myself and kept trying "unsuccessfully" to get back up on my own. But just like God has been known to do for me and for so many others time and time again, he gave me the exact words I needed to hear, at just the right time.
"It is absolutely unethical when one is so busy communicating that he forgets to be what he teaches."
I'm telling you, when I read these words, it was like looking into a mirror. I felt like I was the person Kierkegaard was talking about. I was "the unethical one who was forgetting to be what he was teaching." But the beautiful thing is that when I saw myself in the mirror:
I didn't feel condemned. I felt accepted.
I didn't feel judged. I felt approved.
I wasn’t knocked farther down. I was lifted up.
In fact, I didn't find these words to be discouraging in the least. They were quite the opposite. The words actually encouraged me to start telling my story in the way I vowed to tell it in the first place, with honesty, transparency, and vulnerability.