I know I said that I could produce a chapter every month but after the last chapter I have so much to say but cannot find the words to express myself in a coherent manner. I will try my best to explain. As you may know after a brain injury life is turned upside down. You have family, friends, and even loved ones saying things like, “Do you remember what you were like before the accident? Do you still have those same ambitions and/or desires? How has your life changed?” All these questions are good but are they really productive or beneficial? How can a person who suffered a traumatic brain injury, like myself, remember how he or she behaved before? Why are we looking for that glamour (e.g., money) or glitz? Why are we not accepting of others and his or her difference?
Answering the first question, “what does it mean to be depressed and a brain injury?” Depression, using a cognitive psychological approach, looks at a person’s baggage as his or her allostatic load. The load could be from mundane everyday activities or lifelong problems. Some examples of routine daily things are waking up on time, eating breakfast, showering and getting dressed, figuring what you are going to do that day, lunch, following through with activity, dinner, and winding down from the day. Some of the lifelong problems may be from diabetes, cancers, or having a brain injury. There are many variations to a person’s day so the list may vary drastically. Those stressors eventually build up in a person, I do not know if this is true for others, but I have a difficult time with letting go or ending a relationship (e.g., friendship or significant other) because in the first place I simply do not have many to end.
Almost always associated with brain injury is some form of depression. Depression is not something that should be overlooked. Depression is defined by many medical doctors and psychologists as a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or more. In other words, as having a low affect of oneself. For example, I view myself as having no worth to society and I feel like I am a constant drain on my family, friends, and/or pets. I view what I do not have in my life so I focus on the negative (e.g., loneliness and why does a person leave after I share my emotions to her) parts while totally ignoring the positives (e.g., family or pets) in my life. Why does a person think that after someone has invested time and effort into a relationship to just received a text message saying, “leave me alone.”
Some (e.g., individuals who have not suffered a TBI) might say go find some more friends or in other words, this analogy is spot on; if Babe Ruth, the great Bambino, hung up his cleats and glove after the first time he struck out at the plate he would have never set this unsurmountable home run record. Using that same mindset in regard to relationships, a person, will have more ending of relationships (e.g., strikeouts) than actual long-lasting relationships (e.g., home runs). Many individuals might think that I should equate that to every relationship or friendship. How does a person develop a meaningful relationship?
The most obvious answer is time and getting to know that individual. Now when I say time I mean at least two to three months before making a decision. I am sure there will be many mistakes (e.g., irritating or ignorant behaviors) that I will do but first address such incident in a polite but stern manner is ideal. Looking back on my previous relationships with friends I put too much effort into the relationship thus scaring or frightening this individual most likely are females. Getting to know all this individual not only has fun times (e.g., going to Culver’s for ice cream) but also has it’s not so pleasant times (e.g., crying or seizuring) and not knowing what to do in any given situation. I guess I could say it is a part of life but then again would I be a hypocrite if I would do so?
Having a visible disability let alone an invisible disability (e.g., controlling behavior) make it almost impossible to find a person to form a relationship. In other words, I use my behavior to disrupt what could be a long-lasting friendship. I realized that I do not have many friends. I realize that every potential relationship is valuable and what I give is what is makes me happy. Some might wonder why or how I come up with a lot of my dialogue.
Why does it always seem like I write when I am experiencing emotional distress. I never seem to be writing when I am happy. If we look back in history at a great author like Edgar Allen Poe, whom talked about great and horrific almost tantalizing atrocities we see a distraught individual whom later committed suicide because he did not find meaning to life. I now know why I write when my allostatic load is too cumbersome to withstand. Why should you, the reader care, what motivates me to write this book? I think this goes back way before any of us had been born. Simply put this has to do with God.
A quick side note, the gentleman to whom I got in an argument with about the creation story (e.g., God), is a pothead, I say do you have any actual knowledge about anything related to the creation story? Then I realized that I need to learn how to pick my battles and I apologized. The fact that the friend that I was with did not see that I was in an argument that we, my friend and I, both believe in God and she did not defend or argue against this gentleman. I digress a little bit but feel that this needs to be stated to any potential friend(s). We all have problems or imperfections that we are dealing with everyday. Just because you see these flaws do not dismiss him or her; learn from that and grow into a greater person. You proclaiming that God is our Savior but you do not bring awareness of his greatness; I feel sympathetic towards you!
Some scientists or other individuals might suggest the Big Bang theory or something to that effect. How do you think that something so complex as a titanium device can surgically be put inside an individual when we, as humans, have been created by a single cell organism? Some might say evolution. He or she might respond, “It has been over a vast amount of time since Earth has been created.” I say that is a load of garbage and piss on you. How can something so complex be created?
After much thought about this situation and why I said what was said is because I firsthand know of God’s GRACE and his ability to give what we need and when we need it. I am living proof that God has greater plan for me. God did not end my life right there on the highway nor did he end my life on the way to the hospital, nor did he end my life almost 12 years after my accident. Any of our lives can be over in the blink of an eye; it is how you get back up from those monstrosities that really tells about a person.
Look at it this way, when the great Richard Dawkins, whom is an adamant atheist, experiences a catastrophic event (e.g., trapped in a cave or caught in some high emotional event and is near death) he might say, “Dear God please save me?” Why does a person feel that when his or her life hangs in the balance might call on God? Is it because we as humans try to explain these intricate and complex phenomenons to make sense in our heads. Is God just something that a person might call on when it is convenient for that person? I will be honest with you, I do the same behaviors as everyone; only calling on God when it is convenient for me. Why is this?
What does it mean to be depressed and a brain injury. In previous chapters I stated that every brain injury is different so can you apply that same thinking to depression? While struggling with material to write for the book I have been faced with a perplexing situation this past summer. The situation involves a female friend that I became too serious with and as a result we are no longer communicating. This seems to be a recurring theme in my life or relationships with women. I wholeheartedly tell them completely everything that I feel I would like to know in order to make a good decision on whether to become my friends. No what I should of done was lie to her.
I seem to get caught up in the relationship high to realize that I am wanting to date that female to fast and not wanting to develop first a friendship. I would become obsessed with the lady. Now to define obsessed I could easily look up on the Internet and see that it says, “to preoccupy the mind of someone excessively,” but I feel that just does not give it justice. I would define it as having a strong liking for that individual but not totally becoming preoccupied. In other words, I care to much for my friends.
A relationship high is thought of as having a happy feeling in yourself. I keep telling myself in my head that if I just be honest with this woman I just might allow myself to form a meaningful relationship. That is all I ever wanted to have is a friendship. Why can I not find that special someone that embraces me for me? Should I lie to the individual who I want to start a relationship with and play hard to get? I know many of you individuals out there are saying, “here we go again, Chad, found someone that was interested in him but can never form that lasting friendship.”
A quick recap is necessary here, on one end I have family and friends saying I will find someone eventually, I just need to be patient, but on the other hand, I listened to countless sermons, talks, and/or articles that say God wants us to embrace other people’s differences and then we will feel complete. When I say embrace I mean to form a, “RELATIONSHIP,” with said individual. I have talked about this in my testimony given at many churches that talk about having a relationship with God (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm12TIIcMAU) and in order to have a relationship with God we need to form a relationship with one another.
What do you the reader think? Do you feel the same way? What should or could have done differently? Connect with me….