It’s Kind Of A Funny Story

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.

Watch me.


About jaybrandsma

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7 Responses to It’s Kind Of A Funny Story

  1. Curt says:

    Wanna play the question game? :) Good post!

  2. josh says:

    I love it, Jay.

    I love how, when the world says, “what’s your excuse?” Jay Brandsma shrugs his shoulders and kicks some camel’sbottom. I eagerly anticipate your bloggerriffic future.

  3. Brian says:

    Rock on! Looking forward to more posts.

  4. Naomi Unrau says:

    Well, I request some of those writings be made public, on this site. I want to know in your words what come just before this “scene”. I dare say that if any of us had to analyze why we are where we are we would just shrug our shoulders and give a blank look. You know why and how you are ready to prove yourself. Maybe it’ll help me think why I am where I am too. It’s not fair though to ask you to do that because you’ve done all the hard work to know. I’m just slowly sliding into the warm mush of life without any kicking and screaming, just slowly sliding. I know I don’t like it but, oh well…
    Looking forward to the next post.

  5. Shannon says:

    Jay, this is very good. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Keep thriving.

  6. Kerry says:

    Big J,
    I am so proud of you; your posts bring me to tears. I have read some of your earlier posts and would love, for very selfish reasons, if you were to re-post them here. You are an inspiration and if only all of us could do life with as much tenacity, authenticity, openness, and pursuit of responsibility as you do I truly believe this world would be the utopia we don’t dare to dream about. Love you, lil K.

  7. braintard says:

    I’m bookmarkin you site. Read the 1st couple and this last1. I like 2 read all your blogs. reading is energy drain.

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