Getting there

Some thoughts on coming back from concussion

Getting there
A stylised picture showing the view from my bedroom, with cat on bed and sun beams coming through

Like nearly everyone in 2020, I’ve had a strange five months. For me though, this was largely due to concussion.

I banged my head at the end of February, and I am very much on the mend from it all now.

I keep trying to gauge what level of capacity I have back, and I reckon it’s 80-85%. My remaining problems are fatigue, and getting overloaded with cognitive load if I don’t take breaks. I’m trying to be good about looking after myself.

I was asked what I’d learnt in this period of time. What do I know about myself now, that I didn’t before?

My instinctive reply was that I’ve learnt that reality is brittle. Your sense of it, your sense of self, and everything you hold true in yourself can be knocked away from you in an instant.

The was a sense of disassociation, of not being myself, was the most profound and upsetting side of things. That was strongest in the first month after the head knock. I worried I might never feel like ‘me’ again.

I think it’s only really in this last month that I’ve truely come 'online' again.

So yes, reality is brittle. That’s one learning.

Another is that slowing down is ok. It’s necessary.

My frustrations in recovery have come from not being able to go as fast as I normally would. Before the head knock, there was a base level of nervous speed that I approached my days and my life with. I’m realising this perhaps wasn’t the most helpful thing for me. I’ve had to put that behaviour down. I’m not really in any rush to pick it back up.

At the same time, there are things I truely want to do in my life. Goals, and ambitions. The last five months have very much affirmed that I refuse to go to leave this life without having attempted some of them.

Right now, I’d be hard pressed to say which goal needs to be attempted though. I haven’t regained focus yet. It’s like my plans were an Etch-A-Sketch that someone shook vigorously.

I think I’m still just appreciative to be here.