After my accident, people would approach me and say the following types of statements:
"Glad you are back to 100%."
"You look normal."
"Now, you know how I feel."
"You'll be back to yourself in no time."
"Based on how your truck looked after your accident, you are one lucky guy."
I totally understood why they were saying these things. Because if you were to just look at or have a casual conversation with me, you would think I was getting along just great. And I also knew the people saying them were just trying to encourage me.
But none of these statements were true. The truth was:
"I was not back to 100%."
"I didn't feel "normal."
"I was fairly confident most of them didn't know how I felt."
"It was highly likely that I would never get back to "myself."
"I certainly didn't feel lucky.
Instead of telling them the truth, I would simply say "thanks" and let them go on thinking I was doing great! But I couldn't get beyond the fact that I was trying to portray a life that wasn't my reality.
I could no longer go on living as if I was back to "normal." It was very tiresome and, for me, was proving to be unsustainable. Thus, began my journey towards a life of transparency, honesty, and vulnerability.
Because of my trouble finding the right words to verbalize how I am feeling or what I am thinking, a complication of my traumatic brain injury, this has proven to be challenging. Despite these challenges, I am committed to living this type of life. This is one of the reasons I chose to start this blog.
Another reason I started Finding Normal is the hope that after hearing my story, people will realize "It is okay to not be okay." Craig Groeschel said, "We might impress people with our strengths, but we connect with people through our weaknesses." This statement has proven to be true based on the response to my blog thus far. I am so excited that many have chosen to take this journey with me. And I am also extremely grateful for this, because it is a journey I could not make alone!
We were not designed to do life on our own! I know being open and honest isn't easy and can be very uncomfortable. But we all need people we can fully trust. People who know what is REALLY going on in our lives and how we are REALLY doing. (See Footnote) I encourage you to find people like this in your life and when you do, I am confident you will find them invaluable. I know I have!
Footnote: Sometimes this requires professional consultation (physician, psychologist, licensed mental health counselor).