This I Believe

Wendy - Whitacre, Virginia
Entered on July 8, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

When I was fifteen years old, I awakened with no memory of the moments before. Actually, other than what I have been told about that day, I have no recollection of even awakening.

The date is inscribed on the wall of my innermost well. February 26, 1985.

We were enroute to school, my older brother behind the wheel and I in the passenger seat of our 1976 Datson, when we collided with the rear corner of a flat bed truck. I was grazed and thrown toward my brother’s side of the car, unconscious immediately. I stayed unconscious for four days, during which family and friends prayed for recovery.

Though upon awakening, prayers were indeed answered, it was a long recovery process.

Sometimes I think I am STILL recovering.

I believe recovery IS an on-going process, perhaps never coming to a close. I believe in being optimistic because being pessimistic is akin to deciding not to recover. Optimism is by Webster’s Dictionary defined as a “doctrine which emphasizes that everything is for the best”, but Webster’s Thesaurus relates the word optimism to “faith, expectation, anticipation, trust, expectancy, confidence, hope.” I believe in these words, the very embodiment of what they possess. I believe in embracing at every turn the power and heart of those words, whether or not some doctor says you are better or worse than expected. Recovery isn’t just the physical aspect of growing beyond where one regressed, nor is it always able to be registered on a chart. Recovery is a journey, and it encompasses every second beyond the crushing realization that such a process would be necessary.

I believe recovery isn’t something you attain nor is it a rite of passage as you journey further from the onset. Recovery is a form of revelation, a developing within you of strength and character, which are deeper and more meaningful than anything you could have been if separated from the process. Faith, expectation, anticipation… all key words in the process, the journey, the recovery.

Yes, by all neurological methods of measurement my recovery process ended years ago and I am “normal” among my peers. But I am not the same person I was, and I am not normal any more than I am finished recovering. I will never be the same, never be finished, and I will never, ever, stop being optimistic. This, I know.