I'm so Happy Right Now

The sharp sting that burst from the corner of my left eye to my left temple is a reminder of where I have been. It’s taken me three years to stop myself, when I feel this pain or a concussion headache, and say “thank you.” Thank you for the new path it put me on. Thank you for the knowledge I have learned since then. Thank you for the rebirth. Thank you!

Three years ago today, I fell while roller skating and suffered a severe concussion. I had NO idea how that incident would impact the rest of my life. I spent the new year laying in bed with the inability to think more than two words at a time. I was a prisoner to my own mind. When you feel physical or emotional pain, you have space where you go (in your mind) or words that you use to comfort and soothe yourself. I was only a year and a half into meditation, but I knew how to take my mind to a happier place when things around me felt out of control, as I believe we all do. Jan. 2, 2016 I lost that space. I lost the ability to self soothe. I lost sight of any reality. There was merely nothing-nothing but pain and dark, blank space.

The first few weeks the two words that repeated in my head over a billion times were:

Meditate

Concentrate

Meditate

Concentrate

Nothing followed, because my brain could not think past two words at a time. I spent the next three months juggling my pain, anxiety, depression, and any comfort I could find. I couldn’t be anywhere that overstimulated my brain {it’s incredible how much background noise we miss until our brains can’t handle the stress}. I was terrified of everything around me.

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Today, as I look back on what was and look at where I am now, I feel victorious! Three years of navigating a condition that doctors hardly grasp, due to the wide range of symptoms and unanswered questions about post-concussion syndrome. I had to find what worked for me. I had to rebuild who I am. I had to allow my limitations without feeling shame. I had to forgive myself. I had to be patient. I had to let go of ego. I had to turn towards the stillness of meditation. I had to listen to my body. I had to let go. And ultimately I had to get to a place where I could thank my body for the reminders— that only three years ago I could only think two words at a time!

Now, I can create a 1k article in less than an hour, sometimes much quicker. I can type 80 words/minute. I can meditate for more extended periods. My day to day job is sitting at the computer for hours at a time. I can enter the grocery store without noticing the music in the background. I can do yoga. I can lift weights. I can run down mountains!

My family and I spent New Year’s Eve four-wheeling and sledding. I am very timid about activities I participate in {fear of another concussion}- I haven’t been on a rollercoaster in three years. I haven’t ridden a four-wheeler. I haven’t gone water skiing, snow skiing, or sledding. I spent the day snowshoeing in the most peaceful space. When my husband looked at me and said, “do you want me to pull you on the sled.” I said no. Then as I watched my daughter go around one last time, I knew it was my turn, My time to feel the rush of adrenaline again.

Before he got off the four-wheeler, I asked for him to pull me on the sled. I trusted him that he would not test me further than my limit. I wrapped my gloves onto the handles of the sled, sat on my knees, and held on! At first, every horrible scene passed through my mind of what could happen, but my husband was going very slow, and I knew I was in control. As we made our way around the trail, I laughed with pure joy in my belly. The rush of the wind across my face. I knew he was driving much slower than he was with the kids, but to me, the whole world was passing by lightning fast.

My skin felt alive and free!

As my husband parked the four-wheeler, he looked back at me with excitement and a tinge of concern and asked, “how was it?” I could have cried tears of joy. “Could you hear me screaming?” I said. He laughed, “oh, yeah.”

When I sit down to a wonderful meal, surrounded by beautiful people, I often find myself saying, “I'm so happy right now.” It’s pure joy in the food that is entering my body and the company around me. New Year’s Eve, as I snowshoed through the mountains, I found myself saying the same thing, “I'm so happy right now.” As I look back on the past three years, the growth, the knowledge, the rebirth, the miracles, I can truly say…

I'm so happy right now!

2.13.16

2.13.16

11.23.18

11.23.18