Grieving Stage 1 of 7

Grieving Stage 1 of 7

In its simplest form, denial finds us trying to convince ourselves that “this is not happening!” However, there are some very sly ways we can do this — all of which are futile attempts at controlling reality. One example comes from my own experience.

For the first several months of my disabling TBI, I kept trying to will my symptoms away. I had had nearly twenty years of unknowingly willing various symptoms away (looking back, in reality I was ignoring or “cutting through” my symptoms rather than making them disappear) so I could live a normal life. I was quite successful at this, until the symptoms became to great to “cut through” or ignore due to my disabling concussion. I failed miserably, yet for some time was unwilling to acknowledge reality. I kept trying to will it away.

Reality, however, has a way of asserting itself and forcing us to acknowledge it. Typically when that occurs, we move into the next stage of grieving: Anger

Fly Without Wings

02–01–2003
I wrote this at 2:30am after learning I had TBI and the damage was permanent. I tried to will my symptoms away. I was trying to deny the very reality of my disability, attempting to control it.

I have tried, desperately,
 to make this up.
 If I am, if I can,
 I can make it disappear.
 I am not and I can’t.
 This is real and
 it is happening to us.

Not a nightmare, really,
 they are different:
 we wake up from them,
 their pain dissolves with
 consciousness –
 there is no waking up and
 reality is even clearer with
 consciousness.

So we face into the wind
 billowing forth upon this brink
 on which we stand
 and prepare to learn to fly
 without wings.
 –Patrick A. Jones

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