Learning, intellect is something I crave more than sleep now. Before the brain injury I had a yearning inside, a memory of the deep need to constantly fill my mind with new information. After the injury I still knew the person I had been. I knew my intellect had been effected by the brain injury. I knew I had become less intelligent and there was a hatred inside myself for who I had become. It was not that I had become stupid, it was that I could no longer remember anything the way I used to. Memories would slip through my fingers each moment and I could not hold onto them. This caused me to feel as if I had been stuck dumb in the worst way by the brain injury. The ‘before injury’ me knew my brain had been brilliant. All it had taken was to look at something and immediately it was filed away in it’s entirety.
I had taken my mind for granted.
What have I learned from this experience of regaining my intellect, my brain function? I learned to never take my mind for granted again. I learned there are limits and I learned I can be forgiving of not being the brightest in the room. I learned it was okay to let go of the arrogance of intellect. Because I knew I had been arrogant inside my head and it is something I am deeply ashamed of. The idea of the person I had been was one who thought herself above others because of her intellect shames me.
There are times I can believe the reason I fell was to gain perspective of how it all could be taken away in an instant. I am blessed to have slowly been given back my intellect after a long period of being treated as if I was less intelligent than others or as if I were ‘slow’ and it would be a permanence condition.
I will never take my mind for granted again.
(Also published to USFRA.org)