In 2010 my life changed forever. The teenage driver who struck me while I was cycling in my home town was barely old enough to shave. Bones were broken, flesh was torn and I entered the strange and surrealistic new world of traumatic brain injury.
I started chronicling my journey as a brain injury survivor very early on with my first written piece completed a short 48 hours after my accident. The years continued to pass and I did what I do best, I wrote - often in painful and heartbreaking detail about my life's struggles as a brain injury survivor. But time passed and my journey became easier. Never easy, but easier.
Looking back, I realized that I had an immense body of written work that offered a feel for what life is like as a true survivor. Each written piece is strong in its own right, but woven together as a collection, readers will come away with an insider's perspective about what life is really like for brain injury survivors and those who love them.
There are three distinct segments in this volume, Learning to Crawl, Learning to Walk, and Learning to Soar.
In Learning to Crawl, readers feel the pain of early life after traumatic brain injury redefines life. Learning to Walk demonstrates that the first few steps can be hard, but can indeed be mastered. In Learning to Soar, the magnificent reality that a meaningful life can be lived after a brain injury is revealed.
Recovery from a traumatic brain injury cannot be measured in days, weeks or even months. Recovery is lifelong. No longer do I look at recovery as "getting back" to the life I once had. Rather, recovery to me is now defined as coexisting with my brain injury. I have slowly learned that there will be good days - days that I cherish, and there will be hard days - that will always pass.
It is my hope that you will find hope in this volume of essays, that you may better understand the degree to which a brain injury affects not only the survivor, but all who know them. And that you will come away with a new belief that, though forever changed, a meaningful and fulfilling life after TBI is possible.
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