Good afternoon I wrote the following post in June '15 on the ADEM board. Little did I know, understand, or even comprehend the nature, details, and outcome of a severe brain injury. For some reason I didn’t share it here, but here now I do, in case it offers anyone else comfort, understanding, or community. Post follows.
After 6 weeks they graduated me from the hospital. The checklist was satisfied saying that I could go home. There was something missing from the checklist: “Is the patient who he was before the brain injury?”. Answer: No. I look the same, sound the same, speak the same. That is good enough right? Just get things back to normal ASAP, which is a plan that I loved, but after 1.5 years, it just isn’t going that way. Nobody has noticed: I’m not really me!
I am an impostor. I’m pretending to me so I can benefit from my family, friends, and everything that was called “me”, before the medical event. None of it feels right, though. It doesn’t taste right though, either. I got a brain injury, why do I have GI issues right along side with it? I don’t eat the same stuff either. But I play along day after day, fooling everyone. It is the ultimate acting part even though I never got a single bit of training. Surely this impostor syndrome is part of recovery and will not be the new normal?
I want old and familiar, shunning “new”. I want a place where nothing ever happens; shunning excitement. I want predictable and simple, shunning “surprises”. I have tried everything to get back to the place where everything made sense and where I had a place and I was not an impostor. Time travel is not an option so I will keep persisting and embracing “the new normal”, given that there seems to be no viable alternative. Maybe eventually I will like whoever I am now, because everyone else seems to.
Anyone else feel like a impostor in their own life?