Caught Inbetween

Warmth

I have been neither up nor down lately but I seem to be caught uncomfortably between the two.  I unfortunately seem to be spending most of my time trying to stay warm.  I remember when summer first began, I suddenly had a huge boost in energy.  The pessimistic side of me is foreseeing with the arrival of cold-weather a sudden decrease in my energy.  It is obvious that my inability to stay warm is a factor of my life I am going to have to deal with.  It simply cannot be an option to let this unfortunate side effect of my injury bring me down.  I have come up with two approaches in dealing with this issue.  The first approach is very similar to how I dealt with my pain issues when they were at their worst, an approach of observation.  This approach is a mindset I create in which I observe the chill I feel in my bones simply as a sensation occurring not to be identified with or labeled.  I close my eyes and focus in on the sensations I’m feeling at the present moment and absorb every chill, every shiver into my conscience.  I then consciously erase the label of cold I attach to these sensations and they become not sensations that leave me feeling cold but sensations that are simply there, with no label attached.

I would say the majority of the time I feel cold has no plausible reason behind it.  I may be sitting in my toasty room, with my sweatshirt on, hood pulled over my head and still be cold.  In this situation, there is no real reason for me to be cold but because of the haywire signals traveling to my brain, my legs are telling me different.  I rub them, shake them, punch them, but nothing changes.  There is constantly some sort of tingling, vibrating, or throbbing sensation present in my lower extremities.  Many times these sensations tell me I’m cold, but I’ve decided to take on the responsibility of not listening to these signals of coldness anymore.

My second approach is the approach of prayer which seems to be a quite obvious fix to the solution but can be easily overlooked.  It seems God is always answering our prayers in ways we do not expect or in ways that may teach us more valuable lessons.  Well, I’ve become quite sick of this roundabout way God answers my prayers.  Since being cold all the time seems to be seriously affecting my overall well-being I’ve decided to ask God for warmth over and over again until I somehow drill the idea into His thick skull.  My latest mantra while meditating has been, “God bring me warmth, God bring me warmth, God bring me warmth, and so on”.  I mix love and compassion in there every once in awhile.

My Three Lives

Each time I awake in the morning I try and make it a point to accept the day ahead of me and come to grips with another day of paralysis.  As I try and think about the coming day however, I always seem to be pulled back into my past.  I ponder the years behind me as if they were some sort of a glimpse from a past life.  I recollect the memories with a hint of fondness but overall the collection of still frames and movie reels make me feel quite sad.  I go back to my middle school years, probably three of the toughest years of my life.  I had no idea who I was but I knew I wanted to be just like everybody else, whatever that meant.  It’s a horrible thing to try and be like everybody else because in the end it is an infinite battle as the idea of being identical to a majority of people is quite impossible.  But I tried my hardest, picking out the people I looked up to, conforming and imitating to the best of my abilities.

I had horrible self-esteem and thought I was the ugliest kid to walk the earth.  My friends called me Chiquita, because they said I looked like a monkey with my big ears.  I never had the courage, wit, or strength to stand up to my interrogators.  The one time I did, I ended up in a headlock until I could hardly breathe.  I hated God for making me look the way I did and I didn’t know why he wanted to punish me so.

I let out my frustration by playing sports, basketball in particular.  Every day you would find me outside in the driveway, dreaming of the NBA, dribbling and shooting until the sun went down.  I was a good ballplayer, but I had no confidence.  I have vivid memories of trying out for the school team in seventh and eighth grade.  Each time I made the first cut but on the final tryout days my lack of confidence would get to me and I would buckle under the pressure.  My heart pounded in eighth grade as I sat in history class listening to the names being announced over the intercom.  The horrible pronunciation of my last name once again did not resonate from the loudspeaker and my stomach immediately dropped to my knees.  A monsoon of tears arose behind my eyes as I choked and swallowed, holding back my display of weakness.  Moments later I found myself sitting in the front office with an administrator on the phone with my mother.  “Yes, I think you should come pick him up.  He doesn’t look so good.  His eyes are all red and puffy.”

 After shutting the door of my mom’s car the monsoon erupted as I sobbed and coughed out my grief.  If I could only cry like that now, like I did when I was a child.  What a catharsis it would be.  I’m not even sure if I cried like that the day of my accident.

Once I got to high school I still found myself always trying to be like the cool kids, never just being myself.  I tried out for the junior varsity basketball team but was too busy shaking in my britches to even make the first cut.  I stopped trying out for teams after that year and became a lost teenager.  I still hung out with kids that brought me down but I was too afraid to let go of them and be friendless.  Eventually, I made one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and let go of friends who were holding me back.  This led me to meeting my best friend, Tyler.  I finally had a friend who gave me strength instead of bring me down.  Who laughed with me and not at me.

My last two years of high school I became what I would call semi popular, but I didn’t really care.  I was finally just being me and not trying to conform to some ideal of what was cool.  I had tons of friends and dove into the party scene with great enthusiasm.  The one thing my friends did make fun of me for was for smiling too much.  I would just smile for no reason at all, but underneath that smile I was still self-conscious and scared.

Entering college was a breath of fresh air.  This is when my second life began and I left my first behind for the most part.  No one was cooler than anyone else and if someone thought they were, then they were the outcasts.  My freshman year was awesome.  I was finally away from home and had the independence I had been craving for for so long.  On the surface I was always happy and fun to be around, but on the inside I was still a wreck struggling to understand who I was.  Despite the great fortune I had, I still felt like a victim in life.  The slightest thing that would go wrong would be blown out of proportion as if the world was coming to an end.  I also felt like I had no real friends even though a great number of people knew my face and knew my name.

The next year I found myself in a one-bedroom apartment living by myself.  It was a horrible decision to make but who knows where another decision would have led me, maybe not paralysis but maybe something worse.  That first semester I felt very alone even though I had been accepted by a group of friends.  Second semester my friend John moved in with me which was a great improvement.  Viewing the comparison between living alone and with a roommate made me never want to live alone again.

My whole sophomore year was a complete waste looking back on it.  I didn’t care where I was going in life and I’m pretty sure the entire year I had given up completely on God.  I never once prayed to Him or looked to Him for guidance.  I was a lost soul and I remember going in and out of depression.  I would be depressed for a week, snap out of it for another and then fall back into depression again.  The following year I moved into a house on a huge hill right behind campus.  Things began to slowly look up from there.  I discovered my major, Biology, which finally gave me a direction in life.  At some point I discovered I was a good-looking guy which was quite a shock to me.  “Me good-looking?  No way!”, but it was true, girls thought I was hot.

I think my junior year was a turning point in growing up.  I was becoming more responsible, more confident in who I was, and becoming closer to my family.  I still felt really down on myself at times but these periods began to grow shorter.  By the time summer of 2004 came around I was praying to God again and happy with where life was taking me.  I went to Belize with a group of biology students that May, which was one of the best experiences of my life.  My interest in writing peaked after the trip and I began to spend more time by myself.  I no longer needed the company of others to make me feel worthy which I saw as a big sign of maturity.  I then went to Lake Tahoe for a family reunion and learn to appreciate my family more so that I had in my whole life.  A couple weeks later I was back in Boone, North Carolina taking summer classes.  I was happier than I had been in a long while and was looking forward to my future journey of discovery.  Girlfriends, a trip to India, graduating, life.  Then life stopped as I entered the murky water and my body went lifeless.

I didn’t really mean to go into this short and rather depressing autobiography.  I don’t think my life has been depressing really, more so a difficult life mentally.  I’ve had to defeat a lot of inner fears, battles, and turmoil.  When I lay in bed each morning and look back on my life, I feel sad not because it was a difficult life but because I wish I had done things differently.  I wish I realized what I had and how lucky I was to be granted such opportunities.  I wish I could have fully realized my great fortune without tragedy.  Most of all I wish I could have realized when not to push the limits physically, but of course there can be no regrets and I can only look forward from here.

I find myself able to merge my new life of paralysis with my second life of college but I find it very difficult to do so with my precollege life.  It’s as if one can not exist with the other.  Either that life seems like a dream or my present life does.  I was wondering if I might feel better if I could go up to every person I knew in my past, look them in the eyes and say “This is who I am now” and move on to the next person.  Somehow blend all of these random memories together into one so that I can feel whole again.

At the present moment in time I am more at one with my spirit than ever before and I can confidently say that I have a large understanding of life.  I can close my eyes and find peace with God but one thing I do not do as often these days is smile.  I may not have as many reasons these days to smile but one day because of the spiritual search I have gone through and will continue to go through, I may find myself someday, with a smile made of stone.  Once again, I will smile for no reason, this time inside and out.

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24 Responses to Caught Inbetween

  1. mtcutie says:

    wow!I really hope you find your smile your obviously a special person. It seems after everything you\’ve been through and all your struggles. Not just physical but also emotional and mental struggles it seems that you\’ve only really had a fairly small blip with a godless life.I gave up on any kind of god 10 years ago and there isn\’t anything anyone can say or do to change my mind. I wish you luck in your search for your smile.mt

  2. Dori says:

    i hope you find your smile made of stone. this journey known as life can be a wild, twisted road. thank you for sharing, you have a certain way with words. just know that you have many more chapters in this book of life & i think you will find it in yourself to smile @ the good times.

  3. Patricia says:

    I have some of the same feelings. For me I have come to a point where allowing myself to just feel everything has allowed me to really also learn to smile from the inside & out for the first time in my life really. At some point for me accepting the range of emotions without judging them as "good" or "bad" emotions, as was my own habit, and allowing myself to sit with them for a while has really made me a much happier person somehow. I think allowing myself to not feel like I always "had to be happy all the time" really took a lot of pressure off me that I had been putting on myself for a long time -the minute I took the pressure off of happiness as the only right emotion -suddenly there it naturally was more often. That probably doesn\’t make much sense. But it is just what i have been more recently learning personally. I don\’t know. -patti

  4. Patricia says:

    I left and came back – your blogs have a way of making me think a bit and think about how I have felt and how I feel. photography taught me somethings. I found that when I was sad I took some really interesting and some of my better pictures (this is somewhat the same as writing for me sometimes and getting to know myself). Anyway, the fact that sad times made me a better photographer, a more compassionate and passionate photographer taught me to feel the fear and the sadness and work with it to create things. in this way I found some magic in feelings other than constant happiness – I grew up in environments that constantly seemed to make me feel the need to feel happy in order for acceptance. It is odd but now people tell me that I have a laugh that is contagous and straight from the very depth of me – this is a new compliment. I think I found it from feeling. Feeling everything in the moment. When I laugh it is true-er laughter. I feel it with all of me. There is a song that one day if i figure out my computer I will share – it says something about parents -I love mine – but the song resonates so much in me that I know it is how I interpreted their truly warm wishes that I find happiness, they did it out of love and I took it the wrong way -I take full responsiblity for the misunderstanding. The song says something like – Don\’t forget to win first place, don\’t forget to keep a smile on your face -if your perfect then you\’ll win my love, if your perfect then you\’ll win my trust…" I cried the first several times I heard it. I don\’t know what i\’m trying to say – I guess that you are beautiful just the way you are – smiling or not – you are perfect just the way you are – don\’t get me wrong -I wish you all the happiness in the world. I just thought I would come back and share this with you. It is a battle I struggled with for a long time. I have found that the battle was mine to try to control my feelings -letting go and creating things that were beautiful when I was feeling so many different things made me realize that we are well-springs of many things. That there is beauty hidden in sadness, beauty in most feelings. Let the beauty flow. You are many wonderful things – reading your journey as I read more of your blog made me see all that you have – you are perfect, you have an incredible sense of things, you have depth and wisdom. Somehow it seems to me that the many emotions that you have had have given you all this wisdom. Finding out that you felt so many things when you were young makes me see even more beauty in you – you are a feeling person and that is a gift -it isn\’t easy -but it has made you magnificent. Dream well and dream big -goodnight -patti p.s. I promise to shorten my comments in the future. I don\’t pretend to know you. I just speak from my own perspective and hope you see it as just that -your own answers are in your kind and wise heart. Trust in your heart -it is strong and your dearest friend. You inspire.

  5. J-Anderson says:

    What a wonderful entry Colin. I didn\’t think of half the things that you have had to deal with in your life. Thats why I think this blog idea is really working for alot of people because with our busy lives we tend not to slow down enough to see what is really important to us. I hope all of you, Kenny, Keith, Johnny,Patti and of course the hardest worker of all, Calli. People need to know that each of you are special in your own way, and thats a good thing. I wish you Peace. Joan

  6. Shannon says:

    Colin,I can totally relate to how you were feeling in middle school and early high school. I too longed to \’belong\’ and had a hell of a time finding myself. I wasnt good at sports, but I was a theatre geek and was in choir. I was good at both of those things, but since when are theatre people and choir members considered cool? Never at my school! I felt unattractive all through school and dated real losers. I would just date the first person who came along for fear of being alone. It took a long time until I felt somewhat comfortable with who I am. Not having my mom around while I was growing up made it really hard to deal with all of those "girly" things that everyone else knew how to handle…hair, clothes, make up, etc. But I managed somehow. I didnt realize it at the time, but thats where a lot of my self-esteem issues stemmed from. It really took me moving away from my family and being completely independent for me to grow up and finally realize who I was. I think I still struggle with those aspects sometimes though. I still have a hard time with compliments, etc. I never feel comfortable in large groups and almost prefer to be by myself when Im out and about. Anyway, another great entry as always! Thanks for making me think, as always, too!Shannon

  7. Unknown says:

    Hello Colin,This is my first time posting on your blog, I just read an entry you had written in Keith\’s space. I know I don\’t know you, or anything about you for that matter, but what you wrote on Keith\’s blog about not accetping the fate that seems to have been handed to you really moved me. Again, I don\’t know a lot about your situation, and being fully able bodied, I know I can\’t really relate, but I don\’t think you are in any way shape or form weak. In fact, after reading your entries, you seem pretty damn normal to me. If I were in your shoes, I know I would feel exactly the same way you do. We all have obstacles in our lives we have to overcome, but unfortunately, yours is quite a big obstacle, and I don\’t think anyone could honestly say they could just accept something like paralysis. The fact that you have an incomplete injury leaves lots of room for improvement, and I think your will and drive will only help that along. There is nothing wrong at all with having hope, I would worry more about someone who has lost all hope. I think one of the most incredible examples of perserverance is Christopher Reeve. He was a C-1/C-2 COMPLETE quadriplegic, and after almost 7 years, he regained some sensation and movement. Docs usually say if feeling doesn\’t come back after about 3-4 years, it won\’t, so 7 years is just amazing. Who says that can\’t happen to you? Perhaps if Christopher Reeve had given up hope, he may not have made the progress he did. I know my opinion may not matter much, but I don\’t think you\’re weak.

  8. Unknown says:

    Hi, I have read your site for quite a while now but have never commented on it. I feel inadequate commenting as I can\’t relate to most things that you face on a daily basis. But today as I read your entry, I felt a connection with you. I too had a terrible time in junior high. I moved in the middle of the year from a school with kids I had grown up with to a preppy school where you didn\’t fit in if you didn\’t dress just so or act like they did. I spent every lunch period in the bathroom eating my lunch, wishing I could find the courage to overcome the teasing, or let it slide off me, or something, so I could go out and be myself, and let everyone see the real me, not the one who hid all the time. It\’s amazing the impact that these types of experiences can have on you later in life.I too came to the realization that I was a pretty girl and that it was okay to be me. If they didn\’t like me, to hell with them. I am who I am. I am not in touch with anyone from my school days anymore and have made some of the most wonderful friends I could have ever asked for. Anyway, thank you for sharing yourself with us. I\’m glad you feel confident enough to share your life with us.

  9. Tricia says:

    Do you ever think about the future? I know you have written about recovery, but I don’t mean that. I mean as in sharing your talents with society. I am not oblivious to your obstacles, so please do not mistake me for insensitive – I don’t mean to ever offend you. As for you entry, it is really good, but people change often with a cause. After my best friend killed himself, my world turned upside down. I moved out of town, stopped talking to all my old friend…took over 5 years to find myself…strange when I look aback at bit*** Tricia, but she was real…Guess you really hated chicks like me. Anyways, do you have any current goals that you do not mind sharing?

  10. Anita says:

    Colin,We are all paralized one way or the other… What I think is so awsome about you is that you keep on going, and IMPROVING… and growing…You have no idea how I wish to find an herb or something that could CURE pain and suffering… but I think that that herb is within us, and you are a proof of it!And I know how stresfull the school years can be (just look at my HS H/W picture), but then within time we realize that what is realy important is INVISABLE to the eye!!!Anita

  11. Colin says:

    Tricia,I do think about the future, although I do try and not predict what cannot be foreseen. My future is uncertain and when I try and picture my future it can be quite scary. I suppose this is why I do not write much about the future.I always write how I feel. Usually when I sit in front of my computer to write I do not know what is going to appear. If I\’m feeling the past than the past will emerge, if I\’m feeling the future than that will emerge. Neither are as important as the present.I do have some short-term goals but even they are hard for me to grasp at the present moment. Sooner or later the future will emerge in my writing.Colin

  12. Colin says:

    Thank you for all the recent comments. I have been feeling the love on MSN spaces lately. It has been very inspiring.Colin

  13. Patricia says:

    aghhhh I just wrote the longest comment and it got lost when I pushed the button. I hate that!! Anyway, I have to photo some stuff so I don\’t have time to rethink the response fully. You raise valid points and they made me think. I did get a chance to stop by the bookstore – they had Dyer and Deepak, but were out of Toole. I look forward to reading them. I brought way too much at the bookstore!! You should have seen it! I love to read though. Yes, I believe that some emotions can become addictive but when sitting with the question of why -sometimes conclusions and learning can transpire – I try to find the root of a persistant emotion and then work from there. I do find that some emotions take us back to thinking about the past and when and how and why we developed them which is why I think your entry is really great here. I do think though that emotions run their own course – I try not to get in ruts of them when they become just truly unproductive – I find that when they are unproductive though they are easy to let go (somewhat the way a child does – have you noticed the way a child can get upset, feel it and then the next moment move on and end up laughing and playing (I love that)- I do have some fears that have developed and those for me are hard to deal with – I was given the "Serenity Prayer" by a friend and I thought it relieving but at the same time i questioned How do I know the difference of what I can and cannot change? – I think therein lies some magic though – often I am surprised by trying something new or trying to change something small and the effect ripples into other changes – for instance starting a new career, adapting and sometimes feeling frustrated and getting up some healthy and self-caring willpower from that frustration. I have learned to treat myself with a bit more kindness. I wonder sometimes if I am addicted to sadness -but when I think about sadness and the times that I feel it honestly – I find that it is a quiet place that i long for where I can gather up my thoughts, be pensive and think of new directions or new solutions or just be. In some ways sad times can be meditative for me. I find I get sad when my energy is depleted and I need to recharge from within – often the most important thing for me to do when I\’m sad is feel the feeling and find some creative outlet for it -be it writing, photo, really bad drawing (I\’m terrible at it but find some comfort in it) or reading or even watching a movie that gives me down time and a bit of perspective. I try not to dwell on the fact that I am "sad," rather maybe come up with the origin of what is making me sad and working from there – adpating mostly – taking charge of the little things I can and letting go of some things that need time. Sometimes I am sad when I am tired and I realize that I need to rest. I think society and everything in the world puts a lot of pressure on us to appear and be happy ALL of the time – I noticed a gazillion books on this at the bookstore – literally "Feel Happy Always" – was the subtitle of one book! I had a small thought of wow that might be exhausting! I let my heart be my guide a lot of times, I also know that sometimes in living the questions, as Rilke puts it, "I will one day live into the answers." much kindness your way, patti

  14. Patricia says:

    I just got a different computer and wow on this layout which is totally different from mac, my commets look even longer whoa! Sorry the last one was longer than a blog! You said you didn\’t care but I look like a maniac!! you can go ahead and delete it if you want – I took up so much space.

  15. CallieHuggles says:

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{colin}}}}}}}}}}}}}}]Darlin….Life is for reflection…for everyone…if not for the paths, hurdles and trials we each have been through in the past…we would not make the choice of our now…Becuase your injury is so fairly new.. you may not have all of the information, or much of any that is available to people in this condition…Please write to me when possible, I a able to send you links and helpful sites and services that are not JUST GIVEN TO US..sadly I cannot just post them, but I can given them to anyone in their own zip code..Including services for family, friends… caregivers..Programs and services including modifications, health care needs, above and beyond any WE ARE TOLD about ,by Insurance or scocial services..Education and community servcises..Places where we DO NOT here..YOU CANNOT…Places like me who sayI CAN HELP YOUI HEAR YOU…You have Lots of friends I can see, but i have been reading you blog…and You have another one out here in So cal..{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Huggles }}}}}}}}}}}}}]callie

  16. CallieHuggles says:

    ps.. just another thought…because of my problems, I can\’t regulate my heat either, I am either too hot which leads to siezure like stuff or i am to cold.. and then I have to have layers…does layers help for you? then when you are over heated you can have one at a time off, until you get it just right or need to have another one on?at c-4, you have some mobility?how much rehab have you had?? will read more and try to go through your categories..{{{{{{{{{huggles}}}}}}}}}}]write or IM either name, any time.. =)

  17. Patricia says:

    I haven\’t fallen asleep yet :\\ and long day tomorrow -um, I mean today. how was your day, yesterday? hope you are well. the books are really interesting. I set up a thingy on my blog so that people can share what they are reading – I think I should own a bookstore. I\’d love to own a bookstore! – patti

  18. Patricia says:

    Hey there – hope you are having a good weeekend. MSN would not let me into your comment section yesterday – but it could have just been my computer – then again it allowed me into other comment sections – just wanted to let you know. Then again, I leave too many comments here maybe. My best to you though – patti

  19. Tina says:

    Hey Colin,Sorry I haven’t commented in a while, but I have been reading and thinking about you. I bought the book “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire” just because you mentioned it to me. I read a book years ago called “The Greatest Miracle in the World” by Og Mandino and in it I read that if God wants to communicate with us in the present day he may do so thru other people. So when someone mentions a book to me I believe that it means that there is some reason I should be reading it.Anyway, as I said I have been thinking a lot about you and your journey and your quest to find the meaning in your life and it reminds me of a passage in another book that I read many years ago. The book “One” by Richard Bach. In this book Richard comes across these “Pages” that contain the meaning of life. He is determined that he wants to take these Pages back and share them with all the people. His wife Leslie tells him……No, if you do that you will create another religion, you will be the head of that religion and there will be religious wars, etc and then she burns The Pages.……And he says…….[Begin Quote]“But the ones who need what those pages had to say,” I said to Leslie. “How can they, how can we learn what was written there?”“Whoever wants the truth and light can find it for themselves.”“I’m not sure. Sometimes we need a teacher.”She turned to me, “Try this,’ she said. “Pretend that you honestly, truly, deeply want to know who you are, where you came from and why you’re here. Pretend you’re never willing to rest till you know.”I nodded and imagined myself nonstop determined, resolute, eager to learn, combing libraries for books and back issues, haunting lectures and seminars, keeping diaries of my hopes and speculation, writing intuitions, meditating on mountaintops, following leads from dreams and coincidence, asking strangers – all the steps we take when learning matters more than anything. “OK.”“Now,” she said, “can you imagine yourself not finding out.”Whuf, I thought. How this woman can make me see.[End Quote]Anyway, I hope you don’t mind me sharing this passage with you. It reminds me of what you are going thru right now and I just wanted you to know that there is no doubt in my mind that you will find what you are looking for……..including warmth, compassion and love…..Stay Warm,Tina

  20. Tina says:

    Sorry about the long ass comment below, but I still wanted to comment on your other thoughts in this blog.I was really touched by your story about trying out for the basketball team in HS. I felt the same way when I tried out for Kickline and didnt make it. I so wanted to be like those girls. I didnt have enough confidence either. I still struggle with that today.I really admire your honesty with us. And your honesty with yourself is really refreshing. There are not many people that are able to really look at themselves the way that you do. You always make me think.Thanks,Tina

  21. Patricia says:

    Hi Colin – Your comments are always so appreciated. I love the way you think and write and talk so honestly, also your questions are so sincere and kind. It makes me feel like you really read what I am writing and that is so thoughtful and kind of you. In response to your question about seeing life through new eyes – either a persepective after the life changing event or the brain injury itself. I wrote the whole response out here and then realized it was practically the length of a blog so I will put it in my own comments section. If I push publish it here it is going to push all your great comments from everyone too far down or off the page and what they have written is beautiful so I just can\’t – so answer is on my comments under my blog entry. You always make me think and I write so much as I am learning when thinking of the words to describe how I feel about things -patti

  22. Kelly says:

    I can look back now at how I was in middle and high school and think…I had the world in my hands and I did nothing with it. I was shy and I had no self-esteem. I wasted so many opportunities. We all look back with regrets, I guess. You just seem so young to have to do so…I hope you know that you are still capable of so many wonderful things. I would send you an electric blanket if I thought it would help keep you warm. =)Kelly

  23. Patricia says:

    Hi Colin: You know it is funny it is 4:35 in the morning and i have yet to sleep so this may seem like a weird one because I am so very tired. I may even regret writing it. So I had openned the book Dyer\’s Intention and began to read the first paragraph thoughts swarmed my head immediately – I thought of your question what is a part of my brain injury and what is a part of my experiences? You know when my brain was at its lowest functioning and thereafter for awhile, I was doing things instinctually. Now this can be misinterpreted because the autommatic things in life that I never had to think of before like finding a light switch I had used all my life or remembering simple things had to be relearned by my brain. But oddly there was a sperate thing happening that i\’ve never tried to discribe fully. Not only did my body know to avoid stimuli in ways such as sleeping on the floor instead of on top of the bed – a thought honestly came purely from something within me – I never thought…"I\’m uncomfortable up here maybe I should try the floor," my body just did it, without thought. interesting huh? The other thing that happened was my need to create things – anything. I couldn\’t read or watch tv nor do anything that required concentration. Even drawing required concentration. So when I drew it was not from a concentrated center (for lack of better wording) -it was something I tried and did without thought -almost as if it was not my brain\’s intention, but from my heart. This continued. I started in the darkroom and found wonder in the emerging images in the developer. My grandmother was a painter and my grandfather was a professional photojournalist. Is it DNA that drew me to love such a smelly room filled with chemicals? or was it the memory of my grandfather and a comfort to be doing something that reminded me of him? or was it just the magic of photography?I don\’t know. It is interesting to ponder. When my brain slowed down though and I had no other information coming in – it was interesting what came out. Anyway, this will cound completely bizarre to anyone who has not read that first chapter and possibly to you or anyone else that has- but it makes me wonder. I look back at the drawings – I had never drawn before and yet -i\’m not tooting my own horn, but they were pretty amazing for someone that had never tried before. I\’ve tried to duplicate some of my favorites and find it hard if not impossible. Weird huh. -patti

  24. Patricia says:

    Hi Colin: You know it is funny it is 4:35 in the morning and i have yet to sleep so this may seem like a weird one because I am so very tired. I may even regret writing it. So I had openned the book Dyer\’s Intention and began to read the first paragraph thoughts swarmed my head immediately – I thought of your question what is a part of my brain injury and what is a part of my experiences? You know when my brain was at its lowest functioning and thereafter for awhile, I was doing things instinctually. Now this can be misinterpreted because the autommatic things in life that I never had to think of before like finding a light switch I had used all my life or remembering simple things had to be relearned by my brain. But oddly there was a sperate thing happening that i\’ve never tried to discribe fully. Not only did my body know to avoid stimuli in ways such as sleeping on the floor instead of on top of the bed – a thought honestly came purely from something within me – I never thought…"I\’m uncomfortable up here maybe I should try the floor," my body just did it, without thought. interesting huh? The other thing that happened was my need to create things – anything. I couldn\’t read or watch tv nor do anything that required concentration. Even drawing required concentration. So when I drew it was not from a concentrated center (for lack of better wording) -it was something I tried and did without thought -almost as if it was not my brain\’s intention, but from my heart. This continued. I started in the darkroom and found wonder in the emerging images in the developer. My grandmother was a painter and my grandfather was a professional photojournalist. Is it DNA that drew me to love such a smelly room filled with chemicals? or was it the memory of my grandfather and a comfort to be doing something that reminded me of him? or was it just the magic of photography?I don\’t know. It is interesting to ponder. When my brain slowed down though and I had no other information coming in – it was interesting what came out. Anyway, this will cound completely bizarre to anyone who has not read that first chapter and possibly to you or anyone else that has- but it makes me wonder. I look back at the drawings – I had never drawn before and yet -i\’m not tooting my own horn, but they were pretty amazing for someone that had never tried before. I\’ve tried to duplicate some of my favorites and find it hard if not impossible. Weird huh. -patti

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