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April 9, 2010 / Mark Kerrigan

Twenty-one years later, I’m still succeeding!


Yesterday marked the 21st anniversary of the car wreck which changed my life forever. Yes, I sustained a severe head injury, spent a month in a coma, and had to relearn everything as if I were a toddler–from sitting up, walking, reading and writing, even holding my pee.

So, needless to say, I was a little depressed yesterday. I just couldn’t quit thinking about how great I was before the TBI and what my life would be like if I hadn’t had that wreck. About 3:00 I thought to myself, “You know, self, it’s okay to be a little depressed on April 8th. It’s perfectly natural. So wallow in your self-pity today, and wake up tomorrow ready to go!” And that’s exactly what I did.

As anyone who has dealt with depression will tell you, stay busy. Get a hobby, plant a garden, take care of your yard–anything to keep you from thinking about how you used to be. You’re not the same as you were before your head-injury, and you never will be. Get over it. Your being depressed about it won’t change a dad-gum thing.

So I write, I’m working on a Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor’s guide to explain first-hand what we, the head-injured, may experience and what causes many lapses in judgment after our traumas.

Wish me luck, as I need to get back to it, and if you or someone you know has sustained brain trauma, let me know, as I would love to include another survivor’s experiences in my book.

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6 Comments

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  1. Angie / Apr 15 2010 11:33 pm

    I experienced a traumatic brain injury at 18 years of age. I too was in a car wreck. January 28, 1997 changed my life forever. Thank God for His healing, and I am able to do everything the doctors said I’d never do again.

    • onthemarkwriting / Apr 16 2010 12:44 pm

      Good for you, Angie! What have been some of you major challenges since your TBI? Do you attend any support groups for TBI survivors?

      If you don’t want to respond on my blog, you can email me at onthemarkwriting@gmail.com.

      Keep getting better!
      m

  2. SEC / Apr 24 2010 2:38 am

    It’s been ten years for me. I can’t believe that it has been so long. Like you I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t had the injury, but I don’t worry about it too long. I have taken up painting again (something I did in my youth) and it keeps me busy so I don’t do that “comparison” thing so much any more.

  3. Jeremy / Jun 8 2010 8:11 pm

    I just had my 16th anniversary of my car accident. It happened when I was 15 and like you I often look back at how good I was and think about how great I could have been. It was not until today and reading your story that I realized how wrong it is to look back at what could have been. You are right that it is ok to look back once and a while but I am trying to look more forward now.

    • onthemarkwriting / Jun 9 2010 11:42 am

      Jeremy – I know it’s often tempting to think about where we might be now if we didn’t sustain TBIs, but I think about how blessed I am to be alive–no matter what I happen to be going through at the moment! That takes practice, but the more you do it, I think the easier it will become.

      You may want to pick up Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose-Driven Life. After reading it, I realized that I can wallow in my self pity, but God can use me to help others going through the same things if I let Him. That’s one reason I started this blog and I’m writing a book about the challenges TBI survivors may face in their recoveries.

      Hope this helps, and if you’d like to connect, my eamil is onthemarkwriting@gmail.com.

      Thanks for your comment.
      m

  4. Second Chance to Live / Oct 5 2011 5:58 pm

    Hi Mark,
    I just read your article. Thank you for all that you do Mark on and through your web site. You are doing a marvelous job! I agree with you my friend. I believe that to get beyond the loss of anything or changes that occur in our lives a grieving process needs to occur. In my experience, I found that I needed to confront my denial, work through my anger, go through a bargaining process (to get to the point of realizing that I can not change what I have lost), then give myself the permission to be depressed (and if I am stuck in depression I need to seek outside counseling help) before I can arrive at a place of acceptance.

    In my experience, I have found that I could not get into action, before I was able to accept my reality. In essence, I needed to become aware, before I could begin to accept, before I could get into action — to be able to move beyond my loss. In my experience, I found that when I was able to accept my reality and get into action, that I was able to start to create and use the gifts, talent and abilities that were given to me — in ways that work for me. In my experience, I found that doing the work to move through my grieving process –to accept my reality — I was able to stop fighting against myself.

    I would invite you to visit Second Chance to Live at http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com/ and contact me using my email secondchancetolive2@yahoo.com. I speak to the process of awareness,acceptance and action. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you again for your hard work and service. Your hard work and service is giving people hope.

    I will say so long for now. Have a pleasant and rewarding day and God bless you and your family Mark.

    Craig

    Second Chance to Live

    Our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but to build us up!

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