• Luke Bohnenberger

I'm Losing Everything

It was dark in my house, it had to be for the light was too bright and felt like needles inside my brain. It was quiet in my house, it had to be for loud noises felt like everything was closing in. It was also lonely in my house. Was this also a symptom of a brain injury? Days flew by, unable to leave my house unless someone could accompany me, and my mom had a life of her own, so I felt bad to ask her all the time. On rare occasions people would come by to see me but the only time I really got out was when I had to go to doctor appointments or therapy. I read all about the symptoms of a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and being lonely wasn’t one of them. I have lost memory, control and my looks but nothing felt more painful then losing my friends. Is this common?

Sadly, this is really common and can take a greater toll on a survivor more than any other disabilities they may deal with. This world can be hard, pain is something a lot of us deal with on a day to day basis, but we still make it to the next day. Why? Because we aren’t going through it alone. Going through the recovery after a brain injury is a tough journey; however, to go through it alone is something I can somewhat imagine.

Having family support is absolutely amazing and I take nothing away from my family as they supported me through my recovery, but friends have a different impact in our life and in more ways then you think, a bigger impact than family. After my accident, because of many issues one including my change in personality I lost a group of friends that I had been friends with since childhood. One day they were there and the next day they were not. Losing friends is a heartbreaking situation, and losing them during a critical point in your life could rip you apart as it did me. How can friends be more impactful in your life?

1. You are shaped by your friends. You may not realize this, but your friends shape who you are, what you wear and even your personality. Take a look at your closet friends, you may notice that you dress like them, do the same things they do and even sound like them. To lose a friend is like losing a piece of you.

2. Friends weren’t forced to be part of your life, they decided to be. Now of course family can leave you but they didn’t decide to be a part of your life, you were born into it. Your best friend most likely became your best friend because they saw something in you. A connection family will never have. So when they drop out of your life, that connection you had has been lost. They now chose to leave, and it hurts.

I understand that it hurts. You might not understand how they can be so cruel to leave you in a time like this. Just remember, you are in two different places. You have experienced something that they don’t understand and do not know how to approach. They didn’t ask for this as much as you didn’t, and they are confused. I had to accept that things are happening on both sides of this relationship that made no sense, you can never understand their point of view as they can never understand yours. Now, I am not saying it is okay with what they did and how they hurt you, but I will say that hating them will get you nowhere. It leaves in you in a trap of confusion, questions and pain that will never be answered so you must do one thing. Forgive yourself and forgive them. Even if it make no sense to forgive them, do it anyway. Remember, you can be on the same page but not the same paragraph. I forgave myself and my friends and they did the same. Sometimes you don’t have to be on the same paragraph to enjoy the same book. Listen to each other, not to get on the same paragraph but just to make sure you understand.

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