A few days ago, I watched a fantastic movie called “It’s Kind Of A Funny Story,” and it is a fitting introduction to my story, which is also kind of funny at points.
Craig checks himself into a psychiatric ward because of ongoing depression. His experience in the psych ward, and the people he meets there, is an uncanny impression of my stay at the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation in Vancouver after the car accident. I remember the tour of the facilities (including an introduction to music and art therapy sessions), my first meal in the common area, burgeoning friendships with other patients, even shooting hoops in the gym there (with results equal to Craig’s).
What I found particularly striking in the movie was Craig’s initial reaction to being admitted to the psych ward. My first day at G.F. Strong, I too felt like I didn’t really need to be there. Due to a nearly impenetrable wall of denial, and lack of traditional symptoms, I didn’t believe I had any brain damage. This place is for real weirdos, I thought. Of course, now I could refer you to a veritable grocery list of cognitive deficits, having attempted twice to return to university unsuccessfully, and floundering around for years trying to re-assemble something that looks liveable.
I hesitate to quantify the struggles because I’m not here for a pity-party, but without some grasp of the losses, the victories are not fully understood. Suffice to say the effects have been legion. I have written about them elsewhere, and may re-post here if needed/requested. The point of this blog, however, is not to record where I’ve been. I am not writing history here. No, this blog signifies a shift. It is a shift forward, a shift from Reverse to Drive. It is a shift from surviving to thriving. Finally, it is a shift from believing to proving. I always believed things would work out, that brain damage wouldn’t be the end of me. I believed I would still love life, no matter how it looked.
I believed I would accomplish great things.
Now I’m going to prove it.