There are so many people who have helped me over the last 3 years and deserve my thanks. Unfortunately, I have forgotten most of their names!
Only kidding – but I do know that if I try to name them, I will miss some out, so best that I leave it there. They know who they are.
But there is 1 group of people to whom I do want to say thank you – and to apologise. My family.
They have had to deal with so much over the last 3 years that no one should have to deal with – from the initial trauma of the accident and bleak prognosis over the subsequent weeks (to which I was completely oblivious) to having to live with a mad man for 2 years who became increasingly volatile and unreasonable until he finally worked out that he was fighting a bear. Like living with a bear fighter with a sore head perhaps?
In my defence, all I was ever trying to do was contribute to family life in some way on a day to day basis and make the best recovery that I could, in order to be able to get back to providing for my family. I thought that meant pushing myself as hard as I could for as long as I could, because that had always worked in the past. I didn’t know the rules of the game had changed.
So, to my wife and 2 boys, I want to say this: I am truly sorry that you had to put up with my erratic and unpleasant behaviour as I blundered around in the dark trying to find my way back to my old life. I am eternally grateful that you stuck by me – against your better judgment at times, no doubt – as I slowly came to terms with this new life and finally came to accept that pushing on beyond my limits to join in with something or to get things done is never the right thing to do – and that actively choosing to do nothing in these circumstances always delivers a better outcome for everyone. I love you all very much.
Without the brain injury, I’d like to think I might have got there a bit quicker. But that’s the tricky thing about a brain injury – the thing you would previously have relied upon to work out what is going on and find a way through is the thing that is damaged, so it’s not really a fair fight anymore. Thankfully, when you finally realise that what you are doing isn’t working, plus it’s hurting those that you care about the most, being willing to try a different approach becomes a no-brainer.