The act of healing implies time passing. It can be active (as in, “I am healing my broken heart” 💔 ) or passive (“don’t touch the wound, just let it heal”). As someone who suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the many bodily injuries I suffered in the car accident I was in, I have experienced both active and passive healing. And let me tell you that they both result in restlessness. I would like to discuss this restless healing.
Blog note: I realize that this blog is long past my usual Thursday posting. I could have almost just held this until this Thursday… however, I wanted to share these thoughts… so here they finally are!
The number one thing I have been restless about in my healing from my coma and other injuries is my hearing. As I have said on this blog numerous times (check out the TBI and Hearing Loss page), my hearing and my understanding of it has changed since I was first injured. Initially, I was told that “every brain injury is different” and told to just wait to see if my hearing would improve. Since my hearing loss isn’t related to ear damage and is actually more a symptom of the brain injury there is a lot of gray area (or gray matter! 🧠😉) on how or if I will heal.
Within the last several months I saw a new doctor who gave it to me straight and didn’t cloak anything in mystery (no “every brain injury is different” or wait and see). Her frankness made me realize what a disservice the wait-and-see approach had done me. I had (and my family too) been holding my breath waiting for my brain to heal back to normal hearing. Logically I knew that wasn’t going to happen but the “every brain injury is different” and “wait and see” approach actually had me waiting and waiting. I was getting restless and with each passing day, hope was diminishing. It wasn’t until this new doctor told me that I was far enough from the brain injury that the odds of my hearing changing further was slim, that I realized how much I had been waiting and how restless I had become. Now that I am no longer waiting the restlessness has dissipated.
And oddly I am more hopeful than I have been in a while. I’m hopeful that as a perpetually curious person that I will learn and find new solutions to my problems. I just worked on a newsletter article and blog post for the hearing loss organization I volunteer with that allowed me to channel my curiosity. I wrote about all the different technologies I use to help with hearing loss (especially during the pandemic). I plan to republish or link to that blog post when it goes live because the information I shared is hopefully helpful.
It was in this learning and curiosity that I finally realized I am not restless anymore (about my hearing healing). That in and of itself is a massive leap in the right healing direction. Do I have more healing to do? Of course. But thankfully the restlessness has been abated.
Monthly Feature of the Week: Book Review of “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
I got this book (“Untamed” by Glennon Doyle) from my public library (I was on a long waiting list for it- it is popular). I am nearly done with it, and I wanted to talk about it.
Doyle was a memoirist and a Christian mommy blogger (sorry, she doesn’t like that term but it does describe who she is or was) who wrote extensively about her experience as a married, heterosexual mother of three kids. Then in the middle of promoting a book about saving her marriage (from her husband’s infidelities) she meets and falls in love with a woman (retired US soccer champion Abby Wambach). This book is a collection of essays (kind of ) that deal with many aspects of her life (including the dissolution of her marriage and forging a path forward in her new relationship).
I had heard about this book and saw it on many “must-read” lists. I ultimately decided to read it because I am becoming a tad addicted to memoirs. And I am still not reading brain injury memoirs until I finish my own. Even though I am not reading brain injury memoirs yet, I have a style I like. I like the confessional style coated with a layer of self-reflection. It’s how I hope my own memoir will read and Doyle is certainly deft at this style.
I certainly enjoyed this book. It was beautifully written and observed. I was impressed by how Doyle can concisely and astutely write her observations.
Since Doyle has written several memoirs, each different from the last, her critics question what is authentic (read this review to see that mentioned). As someone who is writing my own memoir and has been writing this blog for two years, I know a thing or two about shifts in personal stories. I honestly don’t think that makes her memoirs less authentic, I think it makes them more authentic. It would be troubling if she went through these life changes and her writing voice was unchanged.
3 thoughts on “Restless Healing”
Patience is another word that could apply as well! We live in an era were we rush to get things done!
But not Selby. She is “putting on the Ritz”
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It’s really 2 blog posts so you get 2 thoughts from me. A memoir isn’t a diary just stating what happened, when and where, but how that event was perceived and remembered by the memoirist. I’ve been blogging so long that I could probably revisit my early stories and come back with a very different tale because what’s important to me and my perspective have changed. The important thing is to make sure the reader understands which version of the writer is telling the story. I think Doyle, with her perspective changes, could probably revisit a lot of what she’s written before.
IMO the cardinal sin of memoir writing is to attribute adult thoughts to children. There is no surer way to make me put down a book for good (or maybe throw it across the room). I’d like to read Doyle’s memoir. It sounds like she’s gotten the last laugh on her marriage.
Do parts or brain function reroute in time? Could stimulating a different part of your brain correct your hearing deficiency? As I was reading, I had a visual of Arnold Schwarzenegger at the very end of Terminator 2 coming back from ‘dead’ because his circuits found an alternative pathway that bypassed traumatic damage caused by a futuristic fight scene. I mean, how different can your brain be from a robot from the 22nd century.
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Wonderful comments as always, Jeff! The Doyle book is worth a read. I don’t plan to go back and read her earlier books though. That I suppose could be a negative if you’re her previous publisher.
If nothing else, your Terminator comment gives me permission to say, “I’LL BE BACK!”