In Another Life

A few years a go, an accident left me with a brain injury. I now have daily challenges with balance, vision, memory, fatigue, cognitive processing, depression and anxiety.

Living with these challenges is difficult, they cause limitations on abilities and slow down activities.

Yesterday my daughter drove me to the grocery store, since my accident I no longer drive. When we returned home we had six bags of groceries. My daughter ran the first two bags up to the house. I figured I would grab the last four. Two of the bags were light and two had milk jugs, two jugs in each bag. This should be no problem for me, I’ve done this hundreds of times before.

I could not figure out the weight distribution between my left and right arms. I stood there moving the handles of the bags back and forth like I was trying to unravel some complex pattern. It felt like there was pressure pushing on me, like there was a bubble surrounding the bags and myself, isolating us while I tried to solve an unbreakable puzzle. I was hyper focused on solving the problem but not able to see a solution.

Saving me from my puzzle trap, my daughter made it back to the van to help with the last of the bags. She took two more bags and I took the last two.

I felt shame, disappointment, and frustration that I couldn’t manage this task, a task that in another life, I wouldn’t have needed help. My daughter probably wasn’t aware, that I was struggling with the bags or that I was embarrassed that I couldn’t manage sorting the bags out. She likely didn’t understand what it really meant when I said “Thanks for the help”.

In this new life I am learning to accept the new challenges and the times of not having control. In this new life I am learning that I can ask for help. In this new life I am learning I don’t have to do it on my own.

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