I Love the Person I’ve Become
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
I had a somber moment yesterday as I, for the first time, heard my 9-1-1 call and saw photos of the scene of my accident. I didn’t know that on March 2nd, 2014, my life would be changed forever.
As all my friends are aware, I have a traumatic brain injury (TBI), a brain injury that will affect my life forever. I’ll never be the same person I once was. I still struggle daily with cognitive deficits and problems with memory, lights, sounds, fatigue, and headaches. I wrestle with irritability. Also, the left side of my body is weak. I spent the last year angry for what has happened to me. The struggles were so huge that I didn’t know how I’d ever survive daily life as a woman and single mother.
Next week, I have the opportunity to face the driver who caused this injury to my body and my life. I get the chance to tell that person everything I’ve gone through to get to where I am today. In writing my statement, I found it hard to look back and relive the hell I’ve been through and am still going through today.
However, in many ways, the accident also brought some positivity – the growth that I’ve had as a person, the strength it has given me, my faith to be stronger, and the opportunities to share my story with so many. Through the use of social media alone, I have shared my triumphs and failures all over the country.
I am trying to bring a voice to the small community in which I live, where there isn’t much help or support for this invisible injury. My brain injury has helped me to choose wisely whom I bring into my life and to let go of negative people, including those in my immediate family who did not understand or did not desire to educate themselves to help me.
I’ve asked why this had to happen to me. I thought that life was already difficult enough. It was hard to get on my feet after a tough childhood and an abusive marriage. Today, I know why. I am thankful for what I have – as little as it may be. I am especially grateful for all who I’ve worked for and fought for – my children and the loved ones close to my heart.
My accident could have been worse. My children might not have had a mother to take care of them; I would never have made new friendships and grown stronger relationships with the ones I had; and I would never have met my Okie.
I’m blessed to be here today. TBI or not, I love the person I’ve become because I’ve fought to become her.
Thank you, Karen Dickerson.
Any views and opinions of the Guest Blogger are purely his/her own.
(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)
(Photos compliments of Karen Dickerson)
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