This I Believe

Murray Dunlap - Daphne, Alabama
Entered on June 9, 2014
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Having just barely survived a car crash that put me in a three month coma, I am driven to say I believe not to give up. But I also am happy to say thank goodness for amnesia.

I reminded myself to say this daily, as I was confined to a wheelchair for a year. Or was it two? Having a traumatic brain injury with amnesia, I am very, very cloudy of the entire affair. I was before, and still am now, a writer. I have been implored to write a non-fiction account of my recovery. I have said a dozen times, at least, that not only is my amnesia a vigilant enemy of this, but I find it both depressing and frustrating to attempt. Now, if I could, I know it would be a fascinating story. If I could. But, sadly, so very much of my memory has been erased that I cannot begin to write about it. I mean, sure, I can paint wide strokes that I was in misery in a wheelchair, and that I was very angry at a man I have never met for running a red light, and that I am saddened that in my clouded confusion, my first marriage ended. But, to describe any of this would require countless interviews and countless hours of head scratching, not to mention the agony of admitting that I simply don’t remember. And thank God I don’t. Who would want to? Sure, a good book would be born, but I would have to live daily with needing help to go to the restroom, needing help to clean myself up, need help to go anywhere –as I could not drive until I passed a driver’s rehabilitation program that took two years.

So yes, the idea of a non-fiction account of my hell has a certain appeal to it, but the reality would be filled with angry tears. I have decided that while I can see where anyone faced with these challenges might be in some way helped, but I cannot see how it might outweigh the depression brought on by reliving this hell. I can’t remember and I am grateful for it. This I believe