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5 Things My TBI Taught Me

As the anniversary of my accident approaches, my mind is swamped with emotions. Here are a few things I’m learning about myself and God.
1. Life is precious. Embrace every moment.

Almost dying makes you appreciate living so much more. You are thankful for every breathe because you know it only takes a moment for everything to be taken from you. You see everything with new eyes, and you’re thankful for even the mundane things that used to be frustrating.

2. God is ultimately good even if it doesn’t look like it.

God always shows up. He sits with you in the mess and holds you, if you allow Him. The little things that happen are more than just coincidence. It’s not a coincidence that on a particularly hard day, I received a watercolor from a dear friend. It’s not a coincidence that a friend texts me to get coffee after a hard week when I feel like a failure. These are not coincidences. They are God kisses or moments where God whispers “You are more loved than you can ever know. This may not be how you planned your life going, but I’m in control.”

3. Patience is truly a virtue. It’s a hard lesson to learn.

Everything requires patience-my healing, driving and learning a new job. I want to be back to normal NOW. You don’t realize how much you need your brain to function until it’s broken. It literally influences everything you do. I want to do everything, but I can’t. I almost died. I can’t expect to be back to my energetic, sassy self immediately. It will take some time. It takes 2-3 years for a brain to heal. I’m not even 12 months into a 24-36 month period. I have more good days than bad ones, and hopefully soon, I’ll have only good ones. I just have to be patient and give myself grace.

4. I need to give myself permission to be weak.

It’s not beneficial for you to be strong all the time. I need to cry. I need to mourn my old life. I would be lying to myself if I said it wasn’t good, and I don’t want it back at times. Life is different and sometimes harder, but no less amazing. I have opportunities that I would have never had, and becoming close with people I didn’t even know existed. I’m learning the art of saying no. I am the kind of person that values independence, and wants to be seen as strong. There is beauty in allowing yourself to be vulnerable with people. There is strength in allowing yourself space to be weak and not carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.

5. I’m stronger because I’ve survived.

I’ve learned several things about myself in the aftermath of the accident, but the main one is that I’m a survivor. I survived a car accident. Yes, I am going to be dealing with things for the rest of my life, but I survived. I know if something else comes against me, I can deal with it because I survived this thing. Everything else seems minor compared. I’m braver because I know that I can handle anything life throws at me with God at my side.

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